LEGALTECH STARTUP CLIO CANADA’S LATEST UNICORN FOLLOWING $136 MILLION CAD SERIES E ROUND

loud-based legal technology startup Clio is the latest company in Canada to reach unicorn status after securing a $136 million CAD ($110 million USD) Series E round at a reported $1.6 billion USD valuation.

The round was raised from two new investors to Clio, T. Rowe Price Investment Management and OMERS Growth Equity. The all-equity round was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, a US-based asset manager for individuals, advisors, institutions, and retirement plan sponsors. The new funding, which brings Clio’s total funding to $503 million CAD to date, consisted mainly of primary capital with a small, undisclosed portion of secondary.

According to the Burnaby, British Columbia-based company, the financing establishes Clio as the first legal practice management company globally to reach unicorn status.

Clio is the second Canadian tech startup in as many weeks to achieve unicorn status. Prior to 2019, Canada had struggled to produce unicorns, but that narrative has changed over the last couple of years with Quebec City’s Coveo, Montreal’s NuveiApplyBoardClearco, and fellow Vancouver-based startup Galvanize all surpassing $1 billion valuations.

Clio was founded in 2008 by CEO Jack Newton and board member Rian Gauvreau, who developed the idea for a legaltech SaaS company after witnessing the struggles independent lawyers and small firms face running their businesses. The Burnaby-based company’s goal is to revolutionize “expensive, outdated on-premise solutions” with cloud technology that makes it easier for lawyers to manage firms, cases, and clients. Its products include practice management software and client intake and relationship management software.

Newton said in an interview the company raised the Series E round after seeing explosive growth in the digitization of the legal industry in 2020.

“The legal industry is regarded as a relatively slow industry to adopt technology, and then all of a sudden with COVID-19, [legal firms] were thrust into a situation where they needed to adopt technology, and moving to the cloud was a matter of survival,” said Newton. “[Clio] ended up facilitating what felt like this mass evacuation to the cloud for law firms…we saw, virtually, in every aspect of our business, from our core SaaS business to our payments business, really exploding growth.”

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RELATED: Clio donates $1 million to help lawyers navigate pandemic challenges

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