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Legal industry disruption: dealcloser helps cut the paperwork

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Michelle Ferguson
May 16, 2019

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The startup dealcloser was founded in typical startup fashion: a personal problem sparked an idea, which led to a set of terrible user interface mockups on Power Point and an initial investment that just covered the cost of building a prototype.

Like most startups, it took a while to hammer out a minimum viable product, but a solid product market fit kept investors and customers interested. Now, dealcloser is being used in law firms in 9 cities in North America, in 5 states and provinces, in 2 countries around the world.

The secret to dealcloser’s success? It’s solving a real problem in a traditional industry ripe for disruption: the legal industry.

dealcloser helps corporate lawyers become more efficient by modernizing the process of completing a transaction

“There’s a lot of pressure on law firms and lawyers to be more affordable,” CEO and co-founder Amir Reshef explains. “The billable hour is a slowly dying model and a lot more work is being done on quotes or RFP, where the lawyers have to commit to a price in advance.”

dealcloser helps corporate lawyers become more efficient by modernizing the largely paper-based process of completing a transaction. The cloud-based platform eliminates many non-value-added administrative tasks, such as collecting signatures, filing, and manually tracking document versions, that not only drive up the legal bill, but can lead to costly mistakes.

“When one company wants to buy another it's not as simple as buying a car and handing over the keys,” Reshef explains. “It takes a lot of documents and ultimately a lot of paper … and this process can become very quickly unmanageable, unless you have a lot of time and people to throw at it.”

dealcloser stores all documents for a project in one digital place, allowing for better version tracking and document management, especially when collaborating with other lawyers or professional advisors on a deal. An export feature allows attorneys to create a professional closing book with the click of a button, while a smart notification system eliminates the need to follow up with clients through email.

The transaction management platform supports any type of deal — from a simple incorporation to a complex M&A deal — and uses the highest security standards: end-to-end encryption, rotating encryption keys and, soon, blockchain, for immutable record keeping.

If you use technology at all it takes five minutes of doing your first job on a deal to be like ‘How is there not an app for this?’
Amir Reshef CEO and Co-Founder of dealcloser

Not only does dealcloser makes lawyers’ lives easier, but it also creates a better a better experience for clients, who no longer have to travel to the firm and spend half a day walking around a table signing documents. They can do everything they need to do on a deal from their phone or tablet.

So how did Reshef and his co-founder come up with such a specific software as a service (SaaS) product?

Prior to co-founding dealcloser, Reshef practiced corporate law at a large international firm. As a junior lawyer he was responsible for manually reviewing, sorting and pushing all this paperwork.

“If you use technology at all,” he says, “it takes five minutes of doing your first job on a deal to be like ‘How is there not an app for this?’”

A quick aforementioned Power Point presentation later and he secured a technical team and that initial investment.

“No one has ever disagreed with the problem,” CTO and co-founder Mike O’Connor says.

O'Connor joined dealcloser as a technical consultant. He was hired through his “startup as a service” firm, White Icon, to develop a prototype and minimum viable product, but opted to stay with the startup full-time — even bringing his business partner, Darren Yuhar, into the fold. (Yuhar now works as Chief Product Officer at dealcloser.)

With lawyers spending nearly 40 per cent of their time on administrative tasks, dealcloser aims to become a comprehensive solution for corporate attorneys moving forward.

"We're always trying to stay one step ahead of what the legal market will need," O'Connor says.

This article appeared in a slightly different form on StartupEdmonton.com

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