Definely Raises $7m Series A to Transform Contract Accessibility for Top Lawyers

Definely, a UK LegalTech company designed to simplify the reading, editing, and understanding of legal documents, has successfully secured Series A funding. The $7 million Series A investment round was spearheaded by Octopus Ventures, with contributions from Cornerstone VC and Zrosk Investment.

The round also welcomed participation from prominent angels Claire Hughes Johnson, Comron Sattari, Ajay Patel, and Babatunde Soyoye, who have joined the cap table. Edward Keelan, a partner at Octopus Ventures, now joins CRE Venture Capital and Zrosk Investments on the board.

Offered through a subscription model, Definely’s suite of productivity solutions supports lawyers at every pre-execution stage of the contract lifecycle, aiding them in drafting, proofing, and comprehending legal documents swiftly. Based in London and employing over 60 staff globally, the company is now poised to expand its current base of 40,000 active users from leading companies and law firms in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia. As the company enhances its integration of AI, it is also set to actively recruit for its highly-experienced technical team.

Feargus MacDaeid, Co-Founder & CSO of Definely, commented: “Before we built Definely, lawyers that needed to access information and understand contracts would use Ctrl+F keys, multiple windows, scroll through hundreds of pages, or simply print out documents so that they could reference all the information in one place. As someone who is visually impaired, you can imagine the challenge this represented for me. It sounds like an obvious problem, but you wouldn’t believe how many hours law firms can spend just looking for the right information.”

Conceived after a chance meeting of two former Magic Circle lawyers, Definely’s co-founders have had a less-than conventional path to creating one of the UK’s fastest-growing LegalTech startups. Registered as legally blind, Feargus MacDaeid struck up an unlikely friendship with Nigerian migrant Nnamdi Emelifeonwu – when the pair worked together at law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – that would see the pair develop technology that has now been proven to give lawyers significant daily time savings when working on contracts.

The company, which in 2023 was named in the top 25 of the prestigious Deloitte UK Technology Fast50, a list of the UK’s fastest-growing tech companies - launched its first product in September 2020 and now serves a global elite of law firms and Fortune 500 companies including Allen & Overy (now A&O Shearman), Slaughter & May, Dentons, Deloitte, P&O Cruises and many more.

“Running Definely is the first thing I do when opening a contract. It is both a tool for reviewing and proofing, but more importantly, something I use in real-time when drafting and constructing contracts as a part of my job. This is what sets it apart,” said Ben Brooks, a lawyer at Allen & Overy.

“Definely is a testament to the power of diverse perspectives and accessibility first in innovation. So we built the simplest delivery possible for our tech, incorporating it via a Microsoft Word Plugin so that it integrates with every lawyer’s existing workflow and tooling. It was this in part, that allowed us to become such an entrenched provider of legal technology to some of the world’s largest law firms and corporations so quickly”, added Nnamdi Emelifeonwu, Co-Founder & CEO of Definely.

“At Octopus Ventures, we’re backing the entrepreneurs who make it their mission to empower people and change industries for the better. Definely is a fantastic example of this – what started as a solution to improve accessibility in the legal industry, has evolved into a product that boosts productivity for all lawyers. By leveraging their powerful AI and strong relationships with companies like Microsoft, Definely is well-positioned to make significant inroads into this $60bn industry.” Said Edward Keelan, partner at Octopus Ventures.

One of the company’s products, Definely Vault, already deploys sophisticated AI techniques to create a taxonomy of a firm’s entire contract repository, extracting all relevant data and clauses to make information readily available to users as contracts are drafted and reviewed.