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Online platform Hence Technologies secures US$1.8m seed fund to grow its team

RWANDA – Hence Technologies, a Rwandan and London based online platform for lawyers, has secured a US$1.8 million seed funding, aimed at growing its team. This brings the total amount raised by the startup, so far, to US$2.6 million.

The seed funding round was led by Daybreak Partners, Broad Creek Capital, Daglar Cizmeci and a number of other angel investors.

Hence Technologies uses data and AI to match firms with external legal service providers hence giving it the ability to recommend lawyers based on the nature of the assignment, location and cost considerations.

The company was founded in 2020 by Steve Heitkamp, Sean West and Arun Shanmuganathan.

“We plan to use the funding to grow our team, especially the technical talent, with some more spending on marketing. We’ve already brought on someone who has a marketing background and has experience working with law firms,” said Steve Heitkamp, Co-founder of Hence Technologies.

Heitkamp adds that to ensure precise matching, they’ve had to integrate data (including qualitative) from different places, including from clients’ billing systems, to build recommendation systems that help companies in decision making.

“Very limited information and data is used to make decisions on who to hire. And we felt like the companies were missing out on an opportunity to leverage data even from their own experiences,” said Heitkamp.

“If a company is spending US$200 million a year, then there is an opportunity to understand a lot of different things like what’s working well and what’s not.”

The startup was validated after a successful pilot involving a U.S.-based investing firm and an insurance company in London. For its next stage of growth, it is targeting even larger corporations with bigger legal expenditure budgets and needs.

“With Hence, there is finally a tool that allows clients to move from large-scale, mostly anecdotal, decision making to empirical evidence-based decision making, with continuous improvement after every interaction,” Daybreak Partners founder Nate Dalton said.

“These last two years have ushered in a period of incredible change in the way we work, and it is very exciting to see the team at Hence leveraging the talent in Kigali and the Palantir platform to begin to execute on their vision to dramatically improve the efficiency of the global professional services markets.”

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