2020 was a thrilling and pivotal year for both Closd and the legal industry, with the COVID crisis accelerating a digital shift that was lagging but imperative. As legal professionals made the switch to remote working and incorporated different technologies into their workflow, they found that solutions they had resisted in fact saved them a lot of time, highlighted their expertise instead of replacing it, and genuinely made their clients happier.
Closd reached maturity at the nexus of this shift and proved to be a fitting solution to legal professionals’ transaction management needs. Overall, 2020 has been an exceptional year for Closd: We solidified our position in France and expanded in Europe, we launched key features to enhance our platform, and our client base grew by +200%. Here are some of the highlights of what we achieved this year.
In March, Closd announced that it raised 600,000 € in seed round funding. The investment came from business angels in the legal and technology sectors, including Eric Larchevêque, co-founder of Ledger, the leading Spanish firm Cuatrecasas, and top French firms LPA-CGR and Orion. The funding allowed Closd to accelerate its growth in Europe and escalate the development of new features, and also provided Closd with investors who brought real expertise in law and tech. Together, these were pivotal in propelling Closd to a place where it could position itself as a leader in the space and advance its mission of transforming the way legal professionals carry out transactions.
In 2020, we solidly established ourselves as the leading transaction management solution in France. Closd grew beyond French borders, too, onboarding clients in Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain. Our goal is to continue to scale our solution and expand internationally throughout Europe, the UK and worldwide.
The level of success Closd has achieved in France speaks to its value and efficiency in managing transactions. It also speaks to the increased adoption of legal tech solutions in the industry, as more firms and corporate departments harness technology to manage their legal operations. This trend is global, as is the need to digitalize and automate transactions. That’s why we’re confident that Closd will continue making waves internationally: The platform is constantly adapting to different markets and changing industry needs, and we feel that we are well-positioned to accelerate our growth in the coming year.
Our numbers this year speak for themselves. At the end of 2020, almost 18.000 users managed or participated in transactions on Closd. We also came close to reaching 4.000 projects successfully carried out on the platform since its launch 2 years ago, with a 517% increase in projects this year compared to 2019. These projects included numerous M&A deals, LBOs, fundraisings and financing transactions executed on Closd, with more than 26,000 contracts and documents securely signed in this context. Today, Closd works with over 100 law firms, corporate legal departments, accounting firms, investment funds and others across law, banking, healthcare and other industries.
In 2020, our roadmap centred on solidifying the technical robustness of our product by listening and responding to our clients’ needs, and of course to the COVID crisis and the overhaul in the legal world that it represented.
Significant developments to our platform were geared towards enhancing project management features to simplify the transaction process, including a redesign of our document storage and data room system, the option to export, save and re-use to-do lists, the creation of personalized bible indexes, and many others. We also further streamlined digital closings, with options like scheduling a signing to unfold automatically at a designated time and supporting the signature of Word documents on the platform.
Closd also introduced several important integrations. We became the first solution to integrate two electronic signature providers, Docusign and Certeurope, with the addition of Certeurope catering to our European clients’ tailored data use and storage requirements. The platform also integrated a top-tier electronic archiving system, Arkhineo, that offers certified long-term storage of documents in a safe that preserves their probative value.
2021 will be the year we unfold our V2. Our roadmap will continue to build on the founders’ vision and on feedback from clients and the thousands of transactions that are executed on the platform that consistently guide our roadmap. Our ambition is to quickly become a new market standard for legal transaction management worldwide.
Among the features that will be introduced are a brand-new interface for a smoother and faster browsing experience, new checklists and live messaging to enhance project management, advanced data room features like an integrated and intuitive Q&A system and automated document generation.
Our electronic signature feature will also evolve to make closings easier and more adaptable with the add-on of new levels of signatures on top of the Advanced eIDAS electronic signatures the platform currently offers.
We plan to build on our momentum in 2020 and kick off the year with new features, partnerships, and integrations, as well as with more and more deals closed. Above all, we’re excited to see how the legal tech ecosystem evolves in 2021 and to solidify our position as leaders in the transaction management space. This year also holds a lot of promise for legal tech from a venture and M&A perspective, with traditional legal services actors increasingly looking to boost their portfolios and offer their clients more innovative services through legal tech solutions. Closd will continue to evolve with this space and continue to accelerate its growth in the coming year, adding value to legal professionals and continuing to transform the way transactions are carried out.