The average Fortune 500 company spends in excess of $150M in outside counsel each year. Spending for outside counsel falls into the budget for legal departments and as a result, approximately 75% of in-house legal teams are concerned about overspending on outside counsel. Priori is the legal marketplace that changes how in-house teams find, hire, and manage outside counsel by providing access to 8000+ highly vetted attorneys in 700+ practice proficiencies across all states and 55 countries. In addition to the marketplace, the company has also launched Scout, a data and insight-driven relationship management platform for managing outside counsel that’s currently in beta. Priori’s clients, which consist of Fortune 500 companies and scaling tech companies, have saved 60% on average in terms of cost and 80% in terms of time spent seeking counsel using the Priori solutions.
AlleyWatch caught up with Priori CEO and Cofounder Basha Rubin to learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $21.3M, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Priori announced a $15M A-1 financing round led by Eagle Proprietary Investments. In addition to Eagle, new investors include Thomson Reuters Ventures, The LegalTechFund, Thirty Five Ventures, Peak6 Strategic Capital, and Soma Ventures. Existing investors – Bridge Investments, Great Oaks Venture Capital, HearstLab, Mindset Ventures, and Jambhala – also participated in this funding round.
Tell us about the product or service that Priori offers.
Priori works to connect in-house legal teams at companies of all sizes with the right outside counsel for projects globally, saving them time and money. Priori’s clients include everything from Fortune 500 enterprises to leading technology companies.
I cofounded the company with Mirra Levitt, a classmate of mine from Yale Law School. We saw how marketplaces were transforming all sorts of industries and saw an opportunity to build one that made legal services more transparent, cost-efficient and effective.
Priori’s legal marketplace enables legal teams at Fortune 500s and fast-growing technology companies to identify the right lawyers for projects, whether for flexible legal talent, local counsel, or cost savings by connecting them with a global vetted network of attorneys at firms of all sizes. The average Fortune 500 company spends upwards of $150M annually on outside counsel, and by using Priori, companies save on average 60% in terms of what they previously paid for similar services.
Priori’s Marketplace is uniquely positioned to help in-house legal teams discover new attorney talent with more than 8,000+ attorneys on the platform in all 50 states and 55 countries. Attorneys on Marketplace cover 700+ practice proficiencies and provide services for overflow support, temp placements and more traditional outside counsel engagements.
Scout, Priori’s outside counsel panel management SaaS platform, is currently in beta with Hearst, Marsh McLennan, Zimmer Biomet and a Fortune 10 technology company. The platform is designed to help drive insights about trusted outside counsel relationships, help make informed hiring decisions and manage D&I initiatives.
What market does Priori target and how big is it?
Priori targets the $800B global legal services market, by making it easier for companies to find the right lawyers at the right price.
What’s your business model?
Priori has two products (1) a global marketplace for the delivery of legal services and (2) a SaaS platform for in-house legal teams to gain insight about trusted outside counsel relationships.
How are you preparing for a potential recession??
One of Priori’s key value propositions in cost-savings for legal departments, who turn to us as an alternative to a traditional law firm model. We are preparing for a potential recession by working closely with our legal department partners to help them optimize their outside counsel work allocations.
What was the funding process like?
We had met both Eagle and Thomson Reuters Ventures over the past couple of years, and built relationships with them ahead of this financing. Because we had identified them as strong potential partners given their operational expertise in legal tech, when it came time to raise this round of financing, they were some of our first calls to build out the round.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
A familiar story for many entrepreneurs I’m sure but one of the biggest challenges of our fundraising process was that it pulled me and my co-founder out of our day-to-day work on the business.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Well, you’d have to ask them!
But, I would posit the two driving factors are past growth and future potential. (1) Priori grew 250% over the past year, with extremely high repeat usage and client satisfaction, and our growth is only accelerating. (2) as legal departments understand the values (cost-savings, time-savings, better outcomes, higher satisfaction with outside counsel) of a data-driven marketplace model to make outside counsel hiring decisions, our investors see there is a “tipping point” in the industry, where our model becomes the go-to way outside counsel hiring decisions are made.
I would posit the two driving factors are past growth and future potential. (1) Priori grew 250% over the past year, with extremely high repeat usage and client satisfaction, and our growth is only accelerating. (2) as legal departments understand the values (cost-savings, time-savings, better outcomes, higher satisfaction with outside counsel) of a data-driven marketplace model to make outside counsel hiring decisions, our investors see there is a “tipping point” in the industry, where our model becomes the go-to way outside counsel hiring decisions are made.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We are scaling the business to meet inbound demand for both of our products, which will involve growing all of our teams across the company, including sales, marketing, engineering, and operations. We will also be coming out of beta with our Scout product, and beginning our post-beta implementations with Fortune 100 companies.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
I would recommend pursuing two paths simultaneously as we head into a particularly uncertain period: (1) extend your runway as much as you can; and (2) focus on building relationships with deep experience in your space.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We are currently in hyper-growth mode, and will use the investment to scale operations, fund marketing strategies, and enhance new product developments. From an operations perspective, we plan to make strategic hires across the board and double our headcount over the next six to nine months.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
It’s hard to pick a favorite amongst the many incredible restaurants in NYC, but these days, you would be most likely to find me somewhere in lower Manhattan early on a Sunday night with the kids in tow.