Fast-growing legaltech business Clarilis has raised a further £6m in a Series B investment to support its ongoing growth. The funding has come from Mercia’s Northern Venture Capital Trust Funds (VCTs), which were an existing investor in the business, and Gresham House Ventures, investing on behalf of the Baronsmead VCTs.

The funding will assist the company’s continued international growth and fund its sales, marketing and product development activities.

Clarilis, which is based in Leamington Spa and has an office in Singapore, is a leading provider of automated drafting technology. Its CLARILIS™ platform was designed to automate complex suites of precedents, such as Share Purchase and Facility Agreement suites with many ancillaries, parties and complex underlying deal structures. CLARILIS™ saves significant amounts of lawyer time whilst ensuring that law firms and in-house legal departments draft consistently high-quality documentation.  This creates time for solicitors to focus on what they do best – providing bespoke advice to clients and handling non-standard aspects of transactions.

Clarilis was co-founded by brothers James Quinn, a former solicitor, and Kevin Quinn, the technical architect of the CLARILIS™ platform and former lead developer. Since its launch in 2015, it has experienced consistently strong growth and now boasts an impressive blue-chip client base including Addleshaw Goddard, Baker McKenzie, GoCompare, National Grid and Slaughter and May.

Henry Alty, Investment Director at Gresham House Ventures, said:

While the legal world has arguably been a late adopter of technology, firms are realising that automation is essential to driving both cost efficiency and resilience across distributed workforces.

“In Clarilis we have found an ambitious business with a market-leading solution and exceptional customer satisfaction as a result of its fully managed service. It exemplifies the type of technology-driven and scalable business model that our investment team look for. We’ve been impressed by the impact that Clarilis has already had in the market and as the business expands, particularly into the South East Asian market, we are excited to be bringing our experience to bear and to help facilitate its growth.”

Tim Levett, Investment Chairman of Mercia Northern VCTs, commented:

“We are pleased to be investing once again in this leading LegalTech business, particularly in this current environment where the rapid adoption of user-friendly consumer software has fundamentally changed user expectations within enterprise. Regardless of the complexities of any business process, elegant automation and consumer-grade UX are the critical success factors that have set Clarilis and its platform apart, especially filling the void left by legacy software in this sector.  

“Mercia’s strong tech and SaaS investment credentials and experience combined with our ability to invest through the lifecycle of a business will be important to support the team at Clarilis as they continue to scale the business.”

James Quinn, CEO and co-founder of Clarilis, added: “It’s fantastic to have the continued support from the investment team at Mercia Asset Management and I’m really pleased they’re backing us again.  We are also delighted that Gresham House has chosen to invest.  Gresham House were the clear choice here given Henry Alty and James Hendry’s in-depth knowledge of the LegalTech space and excellent insight.  The Gresham House team also share our vision for the development of the Clarilis platform going forward. 

“This investment will provide the resources required to bring significant enhancements to our platform and to further scale the Clarilis team both in the UK and abroad. 

The uniqueness of Clarilis’ intelligent drafting platform and managed service is resonating with organisations globally – particularly as current market conditions highlight the importance of technology that can provide a strategic advantage.”

A biotech company which is developing new treatments for patients with serious spinal conditions has completed a £2.25m funding round led by Mercia Asset Management to help to continue its ground-breaking research and bring its first products to market.

Locate Bio has secured the investment from Mercia’s own balance sheet, its EIS fund and the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and the Future Fund.  Together with earlier funding rounds from Mercia and MEIF, it brings the total raised by the company to over £8m.

Locate Bio’s first product, which is at the pre-clinical development stage, will help patients who require spinal fusion surgery, where bones are permanently joined together to overcome low back pain. It uses a type of bone protein to remove the need for a bone graft. Its second therapy will be for the biological renewal of the intervertebral discs and will help those suffering from degenerative disc disease, a painful condition affecting 33 million people in the US and EU.

Locate Bio is a spin-out from the University of Nottingham and based on the research of Professor Kevin Shakesheff, a world-leading expert in regenerative medicine. The company, which initially started out as a contract research organisation, first received investment from Mercia in 2018.

John von Benecke, CEO of Locate, said: “I am delighted by the continued support of our lead investor. This investment will allow us to maintain the excellent progress with our lead product and further the development of a pipeline of synergistic products.”

Dr Ian Wilding, Chairman of Locate said: “This investment comes at an important time for the Company as it enters an exciting phase. Despite the uncertainty and disruption that COVID-19 has brought to so many industries, the Locate team have relentlessly executed against its aggressive timelines and the additional funding announced today is a welcome validation of the progress that has been made.”

Peter Dines, Chief Operating Officer of Mercia, said: “We are very pleased to continue to support John and the team at Locate. Their lead product has the potential to disrupt a $3bn market, and we remain excited by the prospect of helping to build a world-leading business.”

Ken Cooper Managing Director, British Business Bank, added: “We are pleased that the MEIF Proof of Concept fund has been able to support further investment into Locate Bio.  Along with the bank’s other programmes the MEIF funds are investing to support SMEs in the region and are still very much open for business. This second round of funding recognises a business which has continued to make good progress despite the difficulties caused by Covid 19.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.