Similar to other industries that embrace contract work, Lawtrades offers legal professionals a way to become independent and run their own virtual legal practices.
Raad Ahmed and Ashish Walia started the company in 2016 with an initial focus on start-ups and small businesses, trying to find a suitable product for the product market (as one would), but finding that legal use between companies of this size was often project-based, rare and long term Short if the company folded.
In 2019, the company focused on working with mid-market businesses and enterprise-level firms by selling in legal departments, which is when growth kicked in, Ahmed told TechCrunch.
Today, Lawtrades works with companies, such as Doordash, Gusto, and Pinterest, to provide them with a market of professionals who can be hired remotely and flexibly. Its technology allows professionals and companies to create profiles, match opportunities, monitor projects and pay through the platform.
“At the end of the day, it is a new online business model that we started with the law because it is a $100 billion market that hasn’t been affected much in the last 100 years,” Ahmed said.
He and Walia wanted to build a different hiring experience out of the likes of LinkedIn, where companies have to root out hundreds of applicants to find just a few who are qualified. Professionals are also able to provide a fixed pricing structure, unlike law firms which have overhead and other corporate costs that are usually calculated in billable hours.
After doubling revenue in 2021, it closed in the $6 million first round, led by Four Cities Capital, with the participation of Draper Associates and 500 Startups. The tour also featured nearly 100 clients, angel investors and company founders, including Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia, Teachable’s Ankur Nagpal, and GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani.
“As the world finally embraces remote legal work and more lawyers are leaving the major law firms to work for themselves, we are cash flow positive and benefiting from revenue-based financing, so we haven’t had to do a significant diluted capital raise,” Ahmed said.
At the end of 2021, Lawtrades had 80 clients on the platform and 150 active participants. On the talent side, there are more than 1,000 profiles, up from 400 profiles created by the end of 2020. Currently, it’s running on an invite-only model, and 5% are accepted into the network. The network makes up 60% of women and over 35% of minorities.
Ahmed added that the company’s operating revenue in December amounted to $8 million, up from $3 million at the beginning of 2021. More than $11 million has been earned on the platform so far by the network and more than 60,000 working hours were recorded on the platform in 2021, An increase of 200% over 2020.
Ahmed plans to use the new funding to rebrand the company, launch an iOS app, expand into other professional categories, such as financial and management consulting, and gain an international footprint. He also intends to double the number of existing employees at Lawtrades from 15 to 30 across product, support and sales.
“The world of work is in a unique position,” he added. “People are working remotely and companies are looking for talent, so it’s an all-out talent war with the best people getting the best deals. With our model, the power is in the individual to choose the type of work they want to do. This is how we can attract incredible talent and then get on the companies that want to hire them. We repeat and push the limits of 40 working hours per week.”