Extract from an article by Scott Neilson
Toronto-based lawyer Mitch Kowalski — a professor of legal service innovation at the University of Calgary Law School and author of the book Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century — is bearish by comparison. He says legal tech remains stuck in “hype mode” in a “bubble that will burst and taint the entire sector.”
Says Kowalski, “Just like the fog of war, there seems to be a lot going on out there with legal tech, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with all the players. Like the dot.com boom, it has become nearly impossible to sort out what’s real and what’s just good marketing.”
Kowalski adds that while the market is seeing increased acquisitions, and while there have been a handful of big funding rounds, this is “very normal for nascent sectors.”
Furthermore, most rounds have been small.
“This suggests that while there’s healthy interest in legal tech, venture capitalists are not willing to go ‘all in’ unless there is a proven, compelling business case.”
Addison Cameron-Huff, a Toronto lawyer and computer programmer who follows legal tech closely, agrees.
“Canadian venture capitalists really want to see revenue or, ideally, profits. They are conservative compared to U.S. counterparts,” Cameron-Huff told Canadian Lawyer via email.
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