Risk, Reward, and Roadkill: Private Equity Investment in eDiscovery

Private equity firms have flocked to investment e-discovery companies over the past few years, attracted by the e-discovery market’s strong demand and potential for growth.

Extract from article by Rhys Dipshan

E-Discovery Market’s Demand Attracting More Investors Than Ever Before

So what’s behind private equity’s appetite for all things e-discovery? At its core, it stems from private equity’s belief that demand for e-discovery technology and services remain strong for years to come.

Alex Gregor, founder and partner of Knox Capital, said that private equity is interested in e-discovery businesses because they have “long-term growth prospects built around the macro drivers in the legal services industry. Obviously, electronic data and the need for managing electronic data across multiple platforms is growing exponentially. That hasn’t stopped, nor do I think it’s going to stop anytime soon.”

Knox Capital has a stake in the e-discovery industry—in October 2017, the firm led a funding round for e-discovery and forensics provider HaystackID, while months later also supported HaystackID’s April 2018 acquisition of Envision Discovery and Inspired Review. Gregor noted that with the acquisition, HaystackID is now an “an end-to-end e-discovery and managed review business.”

According to Mike Bryant, operating adviser at Knox Capital, e-discovery companies must stand out from the competition to survive in today’s market. “If you are not focused on who you are, what you capable of, and where you fit in this market, you could get run over.”

He added that success in the e-discovery market does not depend just on technology, but also skilled talent and technical ability. “You need to have not only the technology that is appropriate to solve your client problems, but you need the system infrastructure and talent to really bring it all together on behalf of your client. If you fall behind in any of those areas, you could absolutely be roadkill.”

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