The legaltech industry has grown significantly in recent years, resulting in substantial investment and consolidation. In the last three years alone, Clio led these trends, raising a combined US$360 million in our Series D and Series E investment rounds, the latter resulting in a $1.6 billion valuation that earned Clio its unicorn status.
Most recently, we announced Clio’s centaur status—a title reserved for private SaaS companies that achieve more than US$100 million in annual recurring revenue. Our success has helped us shape the investment and acquisition space for legaltech by investing heavily in our partners and acquiring three companies to greatly expand the capabilities of the Clio platform.
When we launched in 2008, Clio was the first cloud-based practice management system, and has been the clear industry leader ever since. At the start, we had a bold vision for the future of legal—one that many thought was impossible at the time. Yet, over the last 14 years the cloud has become pervasive in every aspect of legal—with Clio being the de facto operating system for small to medium sized firms.
I truly believe that this is a critical moment for legaltech, one that is rooted in the rapidly expanding cloud capabilities that have become the norm for many law firms. Having led Clio’s vision from the start, I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts on what I believe the future holds for legaltech, and how Clio will continue to be the market leader in the space.
Expanding the most comprehensive practice management solution with built-in payment processing
It’s been eight months since we launched Clio’s native payments platform to give customers more seamless payment experiences in Clio.
Billing has always been a core feature in legal practice management software, and now customers are looking for payment processing capabilities that are deeply rooted within their wider collections processes. With these features built into a centralized system, collections are easier and more efficient for both law firms and their clients.
Before deciding to build these capabilities into Clio, we looked at several opportunities to accelerate our product development in this area and explored partnerships with several fintech companies that looked to grow in the legaltech market. In the end, we determined that building these capabilities in-house would yield the highest quality and most seamless solution that we could continue to rapidly innovate with. After years of working with our customers to deeply understand their challenges in collecting client payments, we decided that Clio was the optimal provider to take the lead on payments innovation, the same as we’ve done for the practice management space.
The response from our customers has reinforced that we made the right decision. We’ve seen rapid adoption among both new and existing customers—thousands have opted to switch to Clio Payments in the last month alone—and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Clio Payments offers a better payment experience for our customers, and is part of the same system they use every day. This new feature set not only gives customers more payment options in Clio, but also sets the stage for more rapid innovation.
Building a unified experience for core features in Clio
The future of legaltech lies in building seamless and frictionless product experiences for law firms. Our customers today want more connected features and functionalities. The launch of Clio Payments is an example of how we’re giving customers access to more of what’s essential to running a profitable legal practice—all within Clio.
To date, our focus on the needs of our customers—and the needs of their clients—has contributed to so much of Clio’s success in building the industry’s only legal operating system that is easy-to-use, affordable, and comprehensive of what’s needed to run a law firm, regardless of size.
That’s why, in addition to building the industry’s highest-ranked legal practice management software for case management, document management, client communication, billing and payments, and much more—we’ve invested heavily in advancing the industry’s best client intake, court calendaring, and document automation capabilities within the Clio platform.
We’ve anchored our product strategy on accelerating innovation based on what our customers want today, and what they’ll need tomorrow.
The leading technology platform in the industry for law firms to build on
Clio remains the only true platform in legaltech. This means that our customers have the ability to customize Clio with over 200 specialized app integrations.
Since starting Clio, we’ve worked with countless lawyers. We know how important it is for many firms to be able to customize workflows and tailor software capabilities to specific firm goals and specially designed client experiences. We also know that many areas of legal practice require unique capabilities to manage and execute against specific legal procedures and areas of expertise.
Out of the box, Clio gives law firms everything they need to build the foundation for managing a legal practice. However, the practice of law is a lifelong-long pursuit, and—especially as firms grow—there are an infinite number of ways to run a law practice. Our integration partners are helping to rapidly build for those unique needs—to help firms thrive with Clio in as many ways possible.
To further enable our partner ecosystem, we host our Launch//Code Developer contest, run our Clio Ventures program, and connect technology providers to the wider legal market each year at the Clio Cloud Conference—an event that has grown to become the largest, most exciting legal conference in the world.
All of this was made possible when we launched Clio’s open API—another industry-first—in 2012, creating a unique space in the legaltech market for innovation, which countless firms have benefitted from.
Leading the market
The opportunity for innovation in law firms will be huge in the coming years, and much of the private equity investment we’ve seen in legaltech has been in reaction to this. We will wait to see how much of this investment will go towards benefitting law firms. We’ve already seen examples of companies that have had to sacrifice on product and customer service in the interest of maximizing profits.
Since we launched in 2007, Clio has been leading a vision for cloud-based legal technology that is wholly based on furthering the ability for law firms to succeed. This vision has been a personal investment for me since day one.
Customers can expect to see us advance Clio’s core functionalities, while continuing to invest in our partners, as we continue to build a lasting 100-year company that will transform the legal experience for all.
Clio is the largest, most trusted legal technology brand, and we’ll continue to trailblaze with innovations that realize our vision for a cloud-based and client-centered future of legal. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to innovate faster for our customers and deliver the leading technology platform for the legal industry.
If you’re at all interested in learning more about what we’re building—or how Clio benefits law firms—I highly encourage you to reach out to someone on our knowledgeable and passionate team.
CEO and Founder of Clio