Legal entity management software exists to pull the legal sector out from the Dark Ages. The technology has historically been used to centralize director, shareholder, tax, and other entity data to create what’s known in the business as “a single source of truth”: a central database where one can store and organize a law firm’s knowledge so that it is read to access when needed.
One Calgary-based startup wants to push further into the digitization and automation of the legal industry. To add efficiency, Athennian integrates document generation, e-signatures, digital filing, and project management in an effort to automate workflows, such as entity formation, transactions, and annual compliance.
“The legal entity management market has very high barriers to entry that protected on-premise incumbents operating like monopolies for decades,” explains Adrian Camara, CEO of Athennian. “Athennian brings the first, true enterprise cloud platform with consumer-grade user experiences into the category.”
After launching quietly in 2017, Athennian raised a seed round in 2019, when the Canadian company was still in stealth. The startup, originally named Paper, has made bigger waves of late—last year, Athennian secured a Series A round of financing to the tune of $8 million. The round was led by Arthur Ventures and supported by several other venture capitalists, including Round13 Capital, InterGen Capital, as well as existing investors BlueSky Equities, Viewpoint Capital, and more.
It was on that high note that Athennian emerged from stealth. However, the startup was still only warming up.
In 2020, Athennian acquired Redox Technologies, a Montreal-based tax visualization startup. Redox was founded in 2016 by Max Lussier and Nic Saudrais, who joined Athennian as part of the deal.
“Athennian has a very diverse and talented team that we are pleased to join,” said Lussier at the time of transaction. “Combining Athennian and Redox’s engineering talent creates strong synergies. We remain focused on accelerating workflow for paralegals and corporate secretaries with consumer grade user experiences.”
Earlier this year, a round of extension funding added another $7 million to Athennian’s coffers. Jack Newton, CEO of legal tech giant Clio, contributed to the Series A extension.
Camara informed Artificial Lawyer that as he has “frequently sought Jack’s advice.” No surprise there as Newton is a veteran heavyweight in the business. The investment from Clio’s cofounder presented an opportunity for Newton to contribute to the company “in a more meaningful way,” according to Camara.
Newton is convinced that companies like Athennian represent the future of legal.
“Cloud-based technologies like Athennian have become integral to a law firm’s ability to run an efficient practice and a successful business, while providing the seamless experiences clients have come to expect,” he says.
Meanwhile, global pressure from the COVID-19 Pandemic to digitize many elements of society has only served to validate Athennian’s business model and turbocharge post-stealth growth.
“Businesses are operating in an increasingly volatile, uncertain and complex environment,” believes Patrick Meenan of Arthur Ventures, which led the Series A round and its extension. “As a result, in-house legal teams and paralegals have seen their workloads increase dramatically, driving a need for more automation.”
“Our revenue acceleration reflects the hard work our team and customers have undertaken to transition that data and workload into the cloud,” added Camara.
This accelerating growth is part of why Athennian is hiring at the upcoming Tech Talent Canada Job Fair. The job fair, happening June 23, is a unique recruiting event that connects fast growing companies in Canada with top tech talent.