Karan Kalia · CEO & Founder, Legitquest
Law, by its very nature, is descriptive and data-centric. The legislature is built on the bedrock of law books, legal journals and reports, and judgments that call for a deep investigation on part of the judges, lawyers, students, and other stakeholders involved.
While there isn’t a shortcut for case law analysis, Legitquest, a legal research portal, is being built as a platform to make legal research sharper, faster and simpler.
Using artificial intelligence (AI), it is creating an online database and search features—like iDRAF and iGraphics—that segregate issues, reasoning, decisions, arguments, and facts of all the judgments passed by the Supreme Court and the High Courts of India since 1950. These features help in reducing the time required for reading and understanding a judgment. As per the company’s analysis, Legitquest users save roughly up to 40 percent of their time in legal research.
The five-year-old startup is tapping into the rather-less-explored segment of legal technology in India, and creating a 360-degree solution by way of building a litigation score software to address all the legal requirements by corporates. “The LIBIL score of litigation score will be just like the Cibil score and will help lawyers and corporates with due diligence and verification,” says Kalia, adding that the idea is to provide valuable insights to the otherwise underserved and exposed finance, insurance, real estate and recruitment businesses worldwide. This would be an addition to its features in the ZAIAN, which is a real-time analyser of case law with the use of AI.
Kalia started the research for Legitquest in 2016 and by 2017 got Himanshu Puri and Rohit Shukla with management and technology expertise on board. The trio co-founded this platform that browses millions of legal records and gets the most relevant results within seconds with the use of natural language processing and deep learning.
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Legitquest currently follows a subscription model from the initial freemium model where the legal database was free for access by anyone and value-added features such as iDRAF and iGraphics were behind a paywall.
The Delhi-based startup, today, is standing on billions of pages of data that help attorneys, law firms, corporate companies, judiciary, law schools, government enterprises, and law enforcement agencies, including the police, chartered accountants, and company secretaries. The portal has a renewal rate of 92 percent for subscriptions by its clientele.
They secured a seed funding of Rs 5 crore in 2021 from internet firm Info Edge India and venture capital fund WaterBridge Ventures. Former Supreme Court judges MB Lokur and AK Sikri are on its national advisory board. The platform is seeing a 3x year-on-year growth.
Rohit Shukla, who had worked with various tech giants before Legitquest, explains how the team built a database from scratch. “We had to prioritise data out of the vast quantum of legal data produced in India and work around the ones that can solve the maximum amount of problems for our customers. The next step was the actual collection of data by use of automated bots and human intervention from public sources. After that, the process of data wrangling or cleansing was done to remove duplicity, spelling mistakes, and other issues like those. Then we had to tag the data before eventually making it available to the end customer on our Legitquest portal,” says the co-founder and CTO.
“We have plans to capture a greater market for our research vertical by setting up various teams across more cities in India this year,” says Himanshu Puri, co-founder and COO of Legitquest, adding that eventually, they plan to expand to international markets.
While expanding its analytical AI/ML (machine learning) capabilities, the company is building an end-to-end cloud-native data platform that will enable large enterprise customers to use the system and pay based on the usage of the services. They’re also in talks with Microsoft to integrate Legitquest into the MS Office suite of products. “We aim to redefine how legal research is conducted in India by making use of legal data in ways that haven’t been explored before,” says Kalia.