Startup Of The Week: Lawcalizer
Indeed, law firms, not typically associated with the fast-paced world of tech startups, are waking up to the value of being closer to the action.
And we have a great example of it! We are happy to present a unique startup – Lawcalizer! This time we are sharing an interview with the Co-founder of Lawcalizer, Paulius Astromskis, PhD.
Tell us about your startup. What is Lawcalizer? And how does it work?
Lawcalizer is the platform created with the aim to help technology companies – especially ones in highly regulated sectors, such as FinTech, InsurTech, and others working with payments, p2p lending, and such – to find legal partners in any corner of the world. Most of those companies are eager to expand their business globally and we understand the struggle of dealing with legal issues that follow. Being lawyers ourselves, we pre-screen all law firms we work with to deliver 3-4 companies of our choice to the client that will perfectly fit their needs. We strongly believe startups shouldn’t spend all their money on legal fees and should concentrate to improve their product and user experience. And so, as we work with boutique law firms (instead of global law corporations), starting a business can save a ton of money by avoiding costly legal expenses. It is also important to note that we don’t charge our clients for these services: our business model relies on referral fees or “take one – give one” type of arrangements with our legal colleagues in our referral network.
What are your competitive advantages that work? What are your competitors?
Our biggest competitive advantage over other match-making platforms is that as lawyers ourselves, we know exactly what kind of firms, services, and prices the client is looking for. Working with FinTech and other tech companies taught us the most important elements in this specific field and now we can pre-screen law firms accordingly. Our competitors are firms like UpWork, Legal Services Link, HG.org, but they are mostly databases with a wide choice of law firms without any individuality, while we, on the other hand, select law firms individually to be sure of their competence, work ethics, speed, etc.
Also, on the other side, our competitors are huge international law firms which businesses usually pick, but their disadvantage lays in the fact that they might be too expensive for small-medium businesses, and don’t always have the specialized knowledge in specific fields. And when it comes to our model, we select law firms that are smaller, more focused on specific tasks, and move much quicker in this fast-paced world.
What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this service?
The idea came from our own need to search for other law firms after our FinTech clients wanted to expand to other countries. We had hundreds of phone calls, emails and etc. to find a perfectly matching law firm for a client. We realized that other tech businesses face the same problem, and in order to help them out in finding their perfect law firm, we decided to build Lawcalizer.
When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?
We launched in the spring of 2020, right as the global pandemic kicked in, and that was one of the biggest challenges: businesses all over the world were confused and unsure of the future so many stopped all expansions plans.
Our target customer is any technology business dealing in a highly regulated environment. Since our launch in spring, we already had some clients we helped to expand to Ireland, Turkey, Spain, Poland, UK, and the USA, to name a few.
What are the biggest challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming it?
Our biggest challenge is, of course, attracting clients: finding new technology companies seeking to expand their business elsewhere is sometimes troublesome, but we try to overcome it by advertising our company more, writing posts on relative news in the business and tech world for social media platforms, presenting more detailed articles on various TechLaw topics on our website – all in all, we try to grow our presence and raise brand awareness in order to attract business that would benefit from using Lawcalizer.
Tell us more about funding. How did you get it? Do you seek extra funding?
As of now, we haven’t gotten anything from any VC or Angel investors and we fund our project from the pocket.
Please introduce your team!
Paulius Astromskis, PhD
More than 10 years of experience in business agreements and corporate law. He has been working with FinTech companies and various tech start-ups since 2008. His professional strength is the ability to incorporate both his legal and business management backgrounds. Paulius understands the needs of business operations and can provide valuable insights regarding corporate, compliance, and product structure issues. Paulius focuses on technology-oriented clients, solving their most complex and novel legal challenges. As a co-creator of Lawcalizer, Paulius believes he helped to solve the communication problem between global tech and local law, as he shares: “For globally ambitious companies, Lawcalizer is the most efficient solution for dealing with jurisdictional fragmentation.”
Has diverse experience in various fields of Cybersecurity and FinTech Law. Worked with a wide variety of commercial projects related to blockchain technology, crowdfunding, P2P, and other online lending platforms, their compliance matters, including assistance in receiving operating licenses of payment, e-money, and other financial institutions. Extensive business experience in business development, implementation, and maintenance of innovative business solutions. Artūras, therefore, is fully aware of the needs and expectations of business entities. “Globally ambitious companies go through hell trying to adapt to different legal settings,” says Artūras, “Lawcalizer will make their life much easier.”
Has versatile knowledge in Data Security & Privacy, broad experience in Tech Law related areas. He is a co-founder and Chief Data Partner at Lawcalizer, helping to create value for our partners through the use and application of data. “It takes a good lawyer to recognize another good lawyer,” observes Vilius, “Lawcalizer’s team of lawyers will pair you with the best legal talent in the markets you are interested in.”
Artur is a tech-savvy whiz-kid holding the position of Lawcalizer product manager. A bright young scholar of both law and IT technologies, Arturas is a man for the job whenever you need expertise on different LegalTech products and their suitability for your needs. Arturas’ professional interests lie in the areas of blockchain, artificial intelligence, face-tracking technology, tracing technologies, and the intersection of technology and human rights. Artur is an advocate of technological progress who wants to make sure digital advancements do not infringe on human liberties.
Strong startup culture isn’t something that can be created overnight but it can be worked towards with some conscious moves. So what are your moves towards this?
Now we are a fairly small startup and yet we see Lawcalizer as a workplace that allows looking for creative solutions, self-improvement, and freedom of expression – and we want to have bright, ambitious, and genuine people on board. Also, in a rapidly developing world of technology, it is important to keep up with casual problems like having the ability to work remotely, or working in an office where the space is clean and comfortable to work in.
Bonus question: what’s next? Tell us about your future plans.
Our most ambitious goal is to expand the Lawcalizer network to reach every corner of the world so that any technology company seeking expansion would know that they can find their Law partners within a short span of time without wasting precious time and saving on legal costs by avoiding huge international law companies.
Thanks, Paulius, it was really nice talking to you!