We are thrilled to announce our investment in Josef.
Today’s largest and most innovative companies rely on computer programmers to build the technology that undergirds most of our lives, yet the software they create uses algorithmic logic pioneered by lawyers centuries ago. We like to think that lawyers were society’s original coders. Contracts have been around since the Roman Empire and rely on a series of if-then statements to determine outcomes for each party in the agreement. This type of logic drives many legaltech applications for enterprises (such as document automation and litigation tools) and consumers (like SoloSuit, that we recently invested in).
Modern lawyers, as it turns out, are trained perfectly to use algorithmic mental models when drafting and interpreting agreements for clients. Yet there are few, if any ways, to provide that knowledge in a scalable, rather than bespoke, way. Lawyers wanting to develop custom software have either needed to teach themselves code or hire external developers to do the work for them. A previous generation of tools allowed legal professionals to develop some automation, but often required mastering complex markup languages that were challenging to maintain. All of these presented barriers for lawyers looking to leverage their know-how in scalable ways.
Josef’s mission is to help all legal professionals capitalize on their knowledge and become developers themselves. They have built a simple, elegant, “automation workbench” for individuals to make their roles navigating the legal system easier and more efficient. The platform allows users to easily create smart chatbots and forms with branching, algorithmic logic based on user input. This even extends into document automation where a user can seamlessly interact with a chatbot while building a document. The applications for their technology are infinite.
We believe that empowering the end user enables organizations to create solutions that dedicated development teams would never have thought of. Legal organizations are responding in a big way. A law firm bought licenses for its entire associate class and told them to build any app they’d like, whether it was to save time internally or provide chatbots for their own clients. Our entire team jumped on and were building our own applications in under an hour (expect to see a Josef bot on our home page soon!). Every now and then we see a product that feels like magic. That is what Josef feels like compared to anything else that we have seen in the market.