We’re excited to announce our investment in Clara, a global platform that guides founders through the legal ins and outs of setting up and scaling a new company.
Clara’s CEO, Patrick Rogers, was living in Dubai in 2015 when he noticed a critical gap in the legal services market. Aspiring tech founders were coming to him with questions about venture capital fundraising, structuring founder agreements, and employee stock option pools. At the time, he was working at a global law firm, which didn’t take on emerging companies as clients. So, he quit and with the help of Lee McMahon, the pair launched a boutique law firm to do just that. The more founders they assisted, the more they realized they all had something in common — they avoided legal paperwork like a novel respiratory virus. “They deal with this stuff reactively, which gets them into hot water, resulting in a poor user experience,” Rogers says.
Fast forward six years and Rogers is now leading a team of talented individuals at Clara who are aiming to remake the world of startup law through their legaltech platform. He describes Clara as “a software platform that replicates what’s in a VC lawyer’s brain, empowering founders to self-sufficiently manage more of their legal needs.” From idea to exit, Clara provides step-by-step guidance to founders of all experience levels. Even though the platform has just emerged from beta, thousands of founders have already used Clara to digitally form companies, create agreements, build their cap tables, and structure their data rooms.
Ultimately, Clara aims to become the operating system underpinning every startup’s software stack. Prospective founders will set up Clara accounts before they’ve even quit their jobs, knowing that the platform offers an end-to-end tool to ensure they adopt legal best practices from the get-go, ensuring every legal element of their business is buttoned up.
By capturing customers at formation, Clara is well-placed to offer founders a range of services as they scale. And as legal and finance typically go hand in hand, Clara’s future ability to wrap fintech services into its wider operating system is another reason why we see such huge potential in the platform.
Clara is building a solution for a global audience. The team has a deep understanding of how founders around the world need to legally structure their companies and can provide predictive education to founders to help them avoid costly mistakes. At present, the platform currently offers the ability to digitally form companies in the Cayman Islands and ADGM - two popular jurisdictions for companies operating from emerging markets - with plans to expand soon to the other major jurisdictions VC’s prefer to invest through.
We know legal processes can be tricky and oftentimes are some of the biggest barriers talented founders face when starting a company. That’s why we’re thrilled to see a platform like Clara guide founders through the entire legal lifecycle of a company. As they emerge from beta, we’re excited for founders to check out Clara and bring their startups’ visions to life.