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MDR Lab alumni company ayora raises $1.6 million in pre-seed round

Posted on 28 March 2024

ayora, the revenue management AI and MDR Lab alumni company has raised $1.6m in a pre-seed round, led by data and AI specialist fund J12 to transform revenue management for professional services with AI.

Others include AI investor Twin Path Ventures and a group of high-profile angel investors including Farah Ballands (former CEO of Estera and Appleby partner), Roger Siddle (former Chairman of Lawyers on Demand, UK Managing Partner at Bain) and Abhijat Saraswat (CRO of Lupl, former Senior Director at Litera).

With the new capital, ayora will accelerate the recruitment of top engineering talent to advance its product roadmap, and begin its commercial expansion starting with the BigLaw market, building on its recent partnership with Mishcon de Reya.

ayora has built a solution that leverages the power of artificial intelligence to empower professionals as revenue managers. It estimates that that globally, legal professionals lose up to 20% of revenue ($36bn per annum compared to a $180bn turnover) each year because of inadequate revenue management practices. Many revenue management tasks handled by lawyers, including fee decisioning, project management and resourcing, and cross-selling remain labour-intensive and poorly supported by existing technologies. As a consequence, busy lawyers either de-prioritise those tasks at the expense of client work, or spend too much time on non-chargeable revenue management work, in each case leading to major value leakage.

“We are very pleased to see ayora raise its pre-seed round. The team is solving what is becoming a mission-critical problem for the legal industry, and we have been really impressed with the progress they have made to date,” said Dan Sinclair, Head of Early-Stage Strategy, Mishcon de Reya.

“Blue chip lawyers’ time is extremely valuable, and yet too much of it is taken up by manual tasks such as WIP list analysis, scope tracking and budget monitoring, and the associated routine client comms. We believe that in 2024, machines are perfectly equipped to handle those tasks whilst keeping the lawyer firmly in the loop; they also benefit from the insights gleaned from law firms’ vast historic time and billing datasets that are ordinarily not discernible to humans." said Stefan Ciesla, co-founder and CEO, ayora.

“It's a really exciting time to be building in this space. The advancements in AI technologies are now making it possible to interpret and utilise huge quantities of law firm data - both structured and unstructured - for business decision support,” said Gordon McKenzie, co-founder and CTO, ayora.

“We are thrilled to back ayora. They are an exceptional team solving mission-critical revenue conversion problems for their customers in a radically different way. ayora's unique technology transforms continuous revenue-level improvement processes within law firms by translating disparate data signals into highly personalised, highly actionable insights that can be deployed at scale. What's more, their product generates rich metadata which is in turn used to improve future insights, creating a virtuous cycle that results in law firms producing higher revenues over time. We are excited about the applications of ayora's tech both within the BigLaw industry and beyond,” said Bo Mattsson, Partner at J12.

About ayora

ayora is on a mission to redefine the professional services industry by empowering professionals as P&L owners. Founded in 2022, the company developed the world’s first AI-powered platform that helps busy professionals improve revenue decision making and streamline the associated tasks. ayora is initially targeting the blue chip legal services market that’s worth an estimated $180bn p.a..

About J12

J12 is the European data and AI fund born out of Stockholm, investing early in technology companies at pre-seed and seed. Run by an international team of ex-founders who have built ideas to IPOs, and have been actively angel investing since 2015, the portfolio consists of 30+ companies across two funds.

For more information, please visit www.j12ventures.com.

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