Innovators: Garth Watson, Malcolm Gray and Peter Flynn, the South African founders of legal-tech platform Libryo. Picture: SUPPLIED
Innovators: Garth Watson, Malcolm Gray and Peter Flynn, the South African founders of legal-tech platform Libryo. Picture: SUPPLIED

Technology start-up Libryo has raised $1m to expand its business. Started by three South African entrepreneurs, Libryo’s platform enables any person in any organisation to understand where they stand legally — at any time.

The Libryo platform was built to overcome regulatory complexity with the fundamental purpose of empowering organisations globally so that they knew and understood what they were required to do by law and regulation, the company said.

Libryo’s legal domain focus is on environmental and occupational health and safety.

To date the company has raised a total of $1.2m, including its pre-seed round.

In the past year the business has expanded from five to 50 countries, 45 of which are across sub-Saharan Africa.

The latest funding will help to expand the business across four continents — Africa, Europe, North America and Australia — in the next 18 to 24 months.

"A critical part of this expansion will involve strategic hires across product, operations and customer relations," it said.

Libryo’s chief legal officer, Garth Watson, said most regulatory law "is not that complicated, but it is terribly organised with applicable obligations hidden across many legal instruments in reams of complicated legal text".

He said that knowing what regulatory law required of a specific operation had been a complicated and expensive process performed by lawyers and consultants. However, the "problem is better solved by legal technology", he said.

Libryo’s customers include large and listed companies in the telecoms, energy, infrastructure, mining and oil and gas industries. In its first year the London-and Cape Town-based company had an annual revenue of £150,000, which had already grown nearly threefold in 2017, it said. It is targeting revenue of £2.5m in the next 18-24 months.

In July, Bloemfontein-based technology start-up Xineoh raised $2m in venture capital funding. The company specialises in artificial intelligence and machine leaning.

Start-ups, mainly in technology, have sprung up in recent years due to greater availability of bandwidth.

Fintech enterprises — aimed at making banking easier and more accessible — have had the biggest growth.

In 2016, $5.5bn of venture capital investment went into payment start-ups. This represented 22% of global fintech investment activity.

mochikot@bdlive.co.za

Please sign in or register to comment.