Our LegalTech portfolio continues to grow as we welcome Orbital Witness, the startup profiling legal risk in property transactions, to the Seeedcamp Nation as part of their £1.2m round.
Whether a first-time homebuyer or managing, developing or financing a portfolio of properties or land assets, getting a clean bill of health on title and search results is crucial to each and every new transaction or project.
Co-founders Ed Boulle and Will Pearce combine backgrounds in law and economics and met whilst working in the space industry – no, we’re not making that up! Ed recalls, “it started with an idea to bring the history and evolution of a property to life by reaching into the imagery archives of satellite operators. Steadily, this idea has evolved into a unique solution for real estate due diligence, running property data through a risk analysis feedback loop on live transactions in Orbital Witness, to create a quantitative risk profile.”
Ed goes onto describe the need to bring transparency and immediacy to property legal assessments: “Real estate is the most valuable asset class there is. Everyone involved in a real estate deal naturally wants visibility of any red flag legal issues with the property ahead of time. The trouble is, if you’re weighing up multiple properties or sites, it just isn’t possible or practical for your lawyer to go into the detail of each one without incurring significant expense and delay.”
Will Pearce, Co-Founder and COO continues, “We believe the answer lies in automated legal risk profiles – like a credit check, but for land and property – allowing lawyers and their clients to instantly access an upfront, low-cost view on a property before progressing a deal.”
On the investment our Partner, and recovering lawyer, Tom Wilson comments:
“When I first met Ed and Will, I was incredibly impressed with their vision for the Orbital Witness product and also the fact they had already secured meaningful traction in a traditionally slow moving and hard to access industry. Having now had the opportunity to start working with them more closely, I’m even more convinced that they have a fantastic opportunity to build a very large business by simplifying the process of gaining legal insights into land”
Orbital Witness is already helping property lawyers to drastically reduce the time it takes to build a detailed understanding of the properties or sites they are working on, profile relevant transactional risks, and get on with the job of providing useful, clear advice to their clients. The company, which ran its first pilot less than one year ago, already has an impressive array of early adopters, working with real estate teams in a number of leading law firms including Mishcon de Reya, Clifford Chance, Reed Smith and Macfarlanes.
Orbital Witness has also recently launched its first product for in-house teams with FTSE 100 retail giant Marks & Spencer and is working with Lockton Companies LLP to provide insurance solutions to cover a wide array of transactional risks identified through the platform.
With this round of funding Orbital Witness will work closely with early adopters on its product roadmap to make the property lawyer’s job more efficient and advisory in nature by moving the point of automation beyond the provision of raw property information contained in searches, towards extracting and highlighting potential issues that may be lurking in the data.
Other investors in the round include PropTech heavyweights JLL Spark (advised by Concrete VC) and LiFE Ventures plus grant funding for research and product development through Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund aimed at transforming legal services.
To learn more about Orbital Witness’ platform for identifying risks in property transactions visit: https://www.orbitalwitness.com/about/