Unlike sharks, killer whales hunt collaboratively. Is this the right approach to the legal tech vertical?
Why aren’t more law firms investing in startups and/or launching corporate venture arms? Is corporate venture capital (CVC) a good fit for the legal industry? If not, is there a better model? And then, finally, what does all of this have to do with killer whales?
In this essay, I’m going to attempt to answer each of these questions. I will start by giving a brief introduction to CVC and then I will outline the current models of law firm venture investments, highlighting both strengths and shortcomings. In the second half of this essay, I’ll suggest an alternative model, a collaborative industry-wide approach which I have dubbed “Investing like Killer Whales.” This is the strategy we used when we syndicated an investment in AI-based contract benchmarking startup TermScout. See Abramowitz, “As Promised, Our Second #Legaltech Investment Announcement This Week,” Zach of Legal Disruption, May 5, 2022 (describing collaborative syndicate approach and why worked well for TermScout).
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