This entrepreneur is disrupting the legal services space by democratizing it
Arvind Singhatiya is the typical entrepreneur who launched a fairly cushy career as a legal advisor at companies such as Essel Group, Ola Cabs and Metro Cash-and-Carry, to launch LegalKart in 2019, a company whose mission is to democratize legal services. much the same way Practo did in healthcare.
The 40-year-old, who holds a master’s degree in business law from a top Indian law school and specializes in Sanskrit literature, says his LegalKart app now connects 150,000 individuals and businesses to a community of approximately 10,000 lawyers through 20,000 PIN codes in 900 cities and districts. .
“At LegalKart, we aim to democratize legal access and make it convenient and affordable without compromising quality. We envision a future in which LegalKart is a destination technology platform for all things legal for individuals and businesses. lawyers in India,” says Singhatiya.
But things weren’t easy at first. Singhatiya says the penetration of legal technology in India is much lower than that of the United States and Europe, with less than 2% of lawyers using the technology and 0.1% using online legal assistance. “India is currently at the bottom of the legal tech rankings of global players. The corona pandemic has catalyzed the growth in technology adoption across the globe and the legal sector has been the biggest beneficiary,” says- he.
“Acquiring the first customers was a work of art, not a logical science. We didn’t have a data sheet to pull from, or existing well-defined segments from which to do highly targeted marketing. We tested different methods to ‘see what sticks’. We reached out to our network of lawyers and known friends to introduce them to the product and share the pilot application with them,” says Singhatiya.
Phone calls, chats, Google Forms and emails were his first tools to identify demand. This helped him get his first app users.
How the model works:
LegalKart’s value proposition consists of three verticals: legal advice, documentation and Lawyer SaaS (Lawyer Practice Management). “We are niche in consulting and documentation and differ significantly from our competitors like Rocketlawyer.com, Clio.com and LegalZoom.com in terms of products and service delivery,” says Singhatiya.
Legal advice: Three lawyers can be consulted within a 15-minute slot for a fee of Rs 600. Depending on the advice received, the client can choose a lawyer among the three if he wishes, to represent him in court or offer other services. . Singhatiya says Legalkart is doing about 50,000 minutes per month now, up from 2,000 hours in April 2021.
He adds that LegalKart’s tips are a self-learning algorithm that learns from customer feedback. “It will always connect you with the best lawyer available based on your needs 24/7/365. There is no human intervention for these smart consultations, which are fully automated. During last fiscal year, we sold over 250,000 minutes and the growth is much faster than expected,” says Singhatiya.
You can even consult in one of the 10 Indian languages available on the application.
Documentation: This, Singhatiya claims, is a rapidly growing segment, with over 100,000 pages delivered to date. He adds that it’s a very affordable and convenient way to have any document drafted or edited. He says his company charges Rs 100 per page for writing and Rs 70 per page for editing.
Documentation is simple and affordable on LegalKart, he adds. With a turnaround of 48 hours, one can get a high-quality document of any kind drafted, along with legal advice on its proper use. “We have a unique review product that helps users navigate complex legal documents before making a decision on them with expert assistance. This happens in just four hours, allowing clients to save a lot of time and money,” says Singhatiya.
Saas Lawyer: It is a subscription-based SaaS in which any lawyer can register by uploading their bar ID. LegalKart’s SaaS Advocate helps professionals manage their practice and access inquiries from across India. “With more than 10,000 registered lawyers, Lawyer SaaS is one of the most popular software after Lawyer in India,” says Singhatiya.
“Consumer feedback is essential for all deliveries made on our platform. All lawyers can see their star ratings in their app and always strive to do their best to maintain their highest ratings. We We have rare instances of refunds, and these are mostly due to technical errors where a customer is not able to avail the services,” says Singhatiya.
Lawyers are rated by the algorithm which maps client feedback on several attributes of service delivery such as understanding of subject matter, articulation and quality of service delivery, it adds.
Singhatiya says the star rating serves two purposes.
The first is to keep lawyers on their toes because a bad rating would mean less business, much the same as in hospitality and medical services. The second is to allow the platform to blacklist professionals with a bad track record.
Technology: The strong 15-member technology research and development team in Kolkata is led by Partha Sen, the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Singhatiya claims that the LegalKart software is proprietary and built on advanced technology with the backend on AWS servers, which are among the most secure in the world to protect the system and scale it to the next level. Considerable developments have already been made in the artificial intelligence and machine learning modules to create intelligent documentation products that will reduce the writing and review time of collectors, saving time and effort. money.
Clients can currently choose to consult with a lawyer via video call or audio call. We have a consumer mobile app for this facility, Legalkart Consumer, which can be downloaded from App Store and Play Store.
Singhatiya says his business recorded an ARR of approximately Rs two crore for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2021. LegalKart has reached operational break-even point and hopes to reach financial break-even point by December 2022.
Singhatiya says, “LegalKart’s platform is gaining momentum with its innovative, affordable and neutral legal advice available 24/7. With strong growth of 25% month-over-month , we hope to double our customer base each quarter. based on client needs, we create product offerings like instant legal advice; documents reviewed, ownership due diligence and start-up compliances.”
LegalKart has raised around Rs 7.5 crore so far, of which Rs 3.5 crore came in October 2019 from Pranay Jivrajaka, former CEO of Ola Foods and currently CEO of Allo Healthcare; Pallav Singh, CEO, Numen Health Care, and a host of other angels.
The company also raised pre-Series A funding of Rs 4 crore in January from Mumbai Angels, ShitAlt Capital, AEVITAS Capital and IIM Udaipur Incubation Center.
According to Nandini Mansinghka, co-founder and CEO of Mumbai Angels: “Legal tech in India is late tech, but a rapidly growing sector, optimizing legal processes and operations for businesses with unique solutions…LegalKart has instrumental in building an effective legal-tech system, and we are confident that the freshly infused capital will allow them to scale and reach greater heights.
Singhatiya says LegalKart is looking to morph into a self-contained legal tech ecosystem. “Just like today Taxi means Ola, in a few years LegalKart will mean Reliable Lawyer – that’s our vision. We encourage technology awareness and awareness among all practicing independent lawyers, and invest time and money to create access to a reliable ecosystem of legal professionals for the masses. We aim to be present in more than 1,500 cities with more than 25,000 lawyers on our platform in the next few years.”
“Our goal is to provide convenient access to all legal assistance at affordable prices. Over the next 3-5 years, we would like to create a strong ecosystem of legal assistance services in which users and service providers can interact transparently across geographical borders. We “I would like to become the Amazon of law. It’s too early to think about it right now,” Singhatiya said.
Singhatiya says the pandemic has given a crucial boost for consumers and lawyers to embrace the technology. “While growth has been catalyzed by the coronavirus, it is now permanent and we now see ourselves walking side by side with consumer businesses that can evolve into the next big business opportunity on a global scale. Our revenues during the pandemic period jumped 115%.. All product lines grew unhindered during the 2021 lockdown,” he adds.