DoNotPay, the company founded in 2015 by a London teenager who developed a “robot lawyer” to help people automatically appeal parking tickets, said last week that it had raised $4.6 million in a funding round backed by a number of big-name Silicon Valley investors.
Founder Joshua Browder, now 22 and based in the San Francisco area, said in a July 3 tweet that he had raised the seed round from venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund — both early investors in Facebook — as well as Greylock Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Index Ventures, Tuesday Capital and various individual investors.
Excited to announce today that DoNotPay has raised $4.6 million in seed funding! Thank you to @a16z @GreylockVC for believing in us early in the preseed. And welcome to @felicis, @foundersfund, @IndexVentures, Coatue and some amazing angels. pic.twitter.com/i4mPph3Awa
— Joshua Browder (@jbrowder1) July 3, 2019
Browder was a guest last October on my LawNext podcast, where he discussed his goal of enabling robots and technology to help people with most of their common legal problems.
“If you’re a normal person who’s not accused of murder, who doesn’t need to be in the Supreme Court, I don’t want you to even have to interact with a lawyer,” he told me then. “ … There’s no reason why, if your landlord keeps your security deposit, it should be so complicated to get justice. So everything that a consumer would want from the legal system, I want to provide for free.”
When we recorded that, DoNotPay had just released an iOS app that offered an array of consumer-help products, including one designed to help individuals file an action in any small claims court in the United States.
Other uses of the app include fighting unfair bank, credit card and overdraft fees; claiming hidden government and class action settlement money; fixing credit report errors; and sue big tech companies for every data breach.
Investment firm Andreessen Horowitz — known for its early investments in some of technology’s hottest companies — has made significant investments in recent years in legal technology companies. In 2016, it led an $8.1 million Series A round for e-discovery company Everlaw and then again participated in a $25 million Series B for Everlaw in 2018. Last year, it led a $65 million round for the law firm/tech company hybrid Atrium.
Founders Fund, led by PayPal founder and former CEO Peter Thiel, has also shown interest in the legal technology sector, with Thiel having made investments in legal research platform Judicata and litigation funding company Legalist.
DoNotPay previously raised $1.1 million in 2017.