Legal tech firm eyeing US expansion after £5m funding fillip

Manchester-based legal technology firm Summize has secured £5m Series A investment from YFM Equity Partners (YFM) and Maven Capital Partners (Maven), as it looks to build its presence in the US and further develop its intelligent SaaS legal technology.

Founded in 2018, Summize has experienced rapid growth by taking a disruptive approach to a traditional sector. Its world-first integrated contract lifecycle management (CLM) software is designed to make contract workflows smarter and up to 85% faster by digitising and automating manual legal processes.

Summize has more than 100 businesses worldwide on its platform, including Fujifilm, Everton FC, NCC Group, Moonpig and The Modern Milkman.

The funding, raised through YFM’s British Smaller Companies VCTs and the Maven VCTs, will see Summize capitalise on the growth opportunity in the global CLM software market, which is forecast to reach $3.30bn by 2027.

The business will expand into key overseas territories, in addition to supercharging product innovation, sales and marketing.

Tom Dunlop, co-founder and CEO at Summize, said: “Summize aims to drive greater value from business contracts by speeding up and automating the end-to-end process, from creating a contract through to analytics and summaries. Unlike many of our competitors, our system integrates directly with existing collaboration tools, which is vital for adoption across the business.

“The Series A funding will enable us to build out our sales and marketing capabilities and accelerate expansion with a presence in the US, which is a huge potential market for us.”

He added: “We will also continue scaling what we have already built with further product development and innovation – we have a clearly defined target market and products with the functionality to meet a very real business need.”

Mike Clarke, investment partner at YFM, said: “Summize are deliberately different and we like their disruptive approach.

“They have developed a really effective solution to helping drive legal departments and processes on the digital journey, and one which is attractive to users as it operates as an extension of existing ways of working. The efficiency benefits are quickly apparent to clients with estimates that users of the platform save 85% in time spent reviewing contracts.

“Summize also benefits from having a very experienced senior management team for this stage of the business, and a clear vision of where they are going. We are excited to be supporting them as they continue on their growth journey.”

James Darlington, investment director at Maven, said: “It is an attractive opportunity for the Maven VCTs to invest in a rapidly growing business which has made strong commercial progress in terms of sales growth and new customer wins.

“We have been impressed with the ambition, skill and knowledge of the management team and we are confident they will continue to drive the business forward and deliver on their growth ambitions.”

The YFM investment team comprised Laura Sisson, Mike Clarke and Ian Waterfield.

Other advisors on the deal included: Graph Strategy (James Tetherton and Matt Harrison), James Bagan, Chris Waterhouse, BHP (Fletcher Adamowicz), David Gallimore, Vista (Peter Warburton and Daniel Blake), Shoosmiths (James Foster and Sophie Davies), Catalysis (Mike Hicks), Philip Hare & Associates (Philip Hare and Tom Hopley) and Pannone (Mark Winthorpe and Miranda Foy).