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B.C. legal software firm lands record US$250M venture capital investment

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WATCH: A Metro Vancouver software company that helps law firms run more efficiently has received a quarter-billion-dollar investment. Ted Chernecki has the details.

A Metro Vancouver legal software company has secured a landmark venture capital investment of US$250 million.

The cash infusion, worth about C$330 million, is believed to be the largest-ever growth stage transaction in Canadian history.

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The company announced the investment by venture capital firms TCV and JMI Equity on Wednesday.

Clio (Themis Solutions Inc.) makes software for small law firms to handle things like billing, cases and clients through the cloud.

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The company says it sees massive growth potential, arguing that a large portion of the public runs into legal troubles, but never gets legal help — a situation the company says its software can help change by making smaller firms more efficient.

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The company, based out of Burnaby, was founded by friends Jack Newton and Rian Gavreau (now CEO and CPO) after they spoke with the Law Society of B.C. about challenges smaller firms faced running their businesses.

“We intend to completely redefine the way legal services are delivered, and democratize access to legal assistance by way of the cloud over the next decade,” said Newton in a media release.

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“This is a monumental moment for us and the Canadian tech scene. More than that, this investment allows us to continually reimagine what’s possible for the future of legal services and that’s an exciting moment for all.”

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Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley called the announcement “very exciting news.”

“The size of investment is a game changer,” said Hurley.

“In Burnaby this investment will advance a cluster effect of knowledge based industries. It will affect and enhance the ecosystem of post-secondary institutions … and supportive urban infrastructure that has driven Burnaby’s growth as a centre for knowledge-based industries and technology.”

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TCV and JMI have invested in companies including Airbnb, Expedia, Netflix and Spotify.

Their investment dwarfs Clio’s prior rounds of funding — amounting to $26 million over 10 years, according to Clio.

The company says it currently serves 150,000 customers in 100 countries, and has won the approval of 66 bar associations and law societies around the world.