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Unless you’re in the legal business, doing legal stuff is probably the last thing you want to deal with as an entrepreneur. It’s complicated, expensive but essential to get it right. Dutch startup Ligo aims to make it a little bit easier to start and run a business, by automating the legal groundwork. Their new feature Workflows just went live, so we spoke with CEO and founder Wendy Bogers.
Practical legal steps
“We really think the legal market is ready for innovation”, says Wendy Bogers. Together with CTO Sander Nieuwenhuizen and CPO Paul Reijnierse she came up with the idea of Ligo’s Workflows: an interactive legal checklist for entrepreneurs. “We have a step-by-step explanation of what needs to be done when certain important events arise. Like raising an investment, hiring or firing an employee or developing software by a third party.” By completing the Workflow the entrepreneur is sure he has thought of everything, no detail remains overlooked, when dealing with an event. Bogers: “We’ve made the Workflows as practical as possible, so they are suitable for almost every situation an entrepreneur can run into.”
Experience as a lawyer
Bogers started Ligo about half a year ago, after having experience as a lawyer for several years. “The idea started after we carefully listened to our clients. Entrepreneurs don’t want to worry about legal documents, they want to do business.” However, entrepreneurs also aren’t very keen on hiring a lawyer every time they need to take care of some legal business. Ligo offers a subscription for €39,95 monthly. Bogers: “There’s a part of the legal business that can be standardized. We make those easier to understand and faster to complete.”
Disruption in the legal business
A disruptive business model is likely to ruffle some feathers in the business. Uber drivers experienced the dissatisfaction when taxi drivers started wielding baseball bats and AirBNB didn’t make a lot of friends in the hotel business. “In our business, there’s also a group that doesn’t really like what we’re doing”, says Bogers. “This is the work they’re being paid big money for. Now they are forced to find ways to work more efficiently. But we’ll never be able to replace good, specialized lawyers. They’ll always be needed for complex issues.”
And for those complex issues, Ligo can actually help lawyers get more business. If an entrepreneur runs into any trouble, Ligo can offer a network of specialists. “We take care of the marketing and communication for the specialists, they can get more clients through us.” Specialists are encouraged to give a discount, to ensure a everybody wins.
Funding and expansion
Ligo opened its doors in September last year and raised initial crowdfunding around €50.000. Now they are looking for new seed funding of €150.000. They hope to close the round in September, this year. And after that? Scaling up a legal startup to other countries, each with its own laws and regulations, can be quite a hassle. Bogers is confident, though. ”This year we try to build a stronger product in the Netherlands. For next year, we’re definitely looking for expansion, Germany is first on our list. Our software and website are easily scalable, but we need a good partner to translate content to make it suitable for German legislation.”
Picture top: Wendy Bogers