Why we invested in Definely 

Investment thesis

  • Definely, is a UK LegalTech company, built by lawyers for lawyers. In a sector where time is a scarce commodity, Definely offers serious performance gains, saving lawyers up to 45 minutes per day through its pioneering suite of tools.  
  • The Definely solution makes an immediate difference, addressing some of the key pain-points lawyers face every day. Specifically, the ease and speed with which contracts can be created and reviewed. Definely’s simple plug-in has removed the need to print out hundreds of pages with fine margin edits, enabling lawyers to make serious efficiency gains without the need for a wholesale change to their existing systems. 
  • The company’s unified solution leverages advanced technology to help lawyers create, draft and proofread their documents, adopting AI in a way that is practically applicable to its customers. The team have also built strong relationships with companies like Microsoft and won contracts with major law firms, including Allen & Overy (now A&O Shearman), Slaughter and May and Shoosmiths, putting it in an extremely strong position to make significant inroads into this $60bn industry. 

Who are the pioneers?

One of the things that sets Definely apart is the experience of its founders, CEO Nnamdi Emelifeonwu and Chief Strategy Officer Feargus MacDaeid.  

Feargus is registered blind and, as colleagues at magic circle law firm, Freshfields, he and Nnamdi discussed how technology could be used to make life easier for lawyers with a visual impairment. They quickly realised their solution offered far wider-reaching applications and promised to help lighten the workload of every lawyer.  

Definely founders

Why us?

We’ve been tracking Definely for several years, keenly aware that their solution was making waves in the LegalTech space. At Octopus Ventures, we invest in people and felt an immediate connection with Nnamdi and Feargus, recognising the Definely solution as a game-changer. Law firms we know agreed – we were happy to introduce a number of them to the Definely team, many of whom went on to become customers.  

We also put the company forward to be featured in Sifted’s ’11 UK Startups to Watch’ and were delighted to see it make the top 25 in the prestigious Deloitte UK Technology Fast50, a list of the UK’s fastest-growing tech companies. 

With so much hype around AI and its disruptive potential (particularly in LegalTech), getting a clear picture of the solutions leveraging emergent technology in a way that genuinely works for the customer can be tricky. But there was never any doubt in our minds that Feargus, Nnamdi and the Definely team brought a clear-eyed understanding of the practicalities of implementing new technology in practice to the table.  

Our interviews with customers supported this view. Ben Brooks, from A&O Shearman, told us: 

“Running Definely is the first thing I do when opening a contract. It is both a tool for reviewing and proofing, but more importantly, something I use in real-time when drafting and constructing contracts as a part of my job. This is what sets it apart.”  

We’ve put our resources to work for the Definely team, and they’ve responded with enthusiasm. In the short space of time we’ve been invested in the company we’ve been amazed by how much they’ve taken on board. Our People + Talent team has already helped the company to find a new CFO, while the Definely sales teams are working with the Revenue Academy to hone their go to market strategy. 

For our part, we’re very proud to now be part of the next chapter in Definely’s bright future. 

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