Slaughter and May contributes to £10m funding round for AI startup Luminance

Slaughter and May has invested in artificial intelligence (AI) platform Luminance as part of a $10m (£7.5m) funding round that values the company at $50m (£37m).

The investment was led by private venture firm Talis Capital, while Invoke Capital, Autonomy co-founder Mike Lynch’s tech investment business, also contributed.

The funds will be used by Luminance, which launched in September 2016, to support its newly opened headquarters in Chicago and to further expand its operations in the US and open a new base in the Asia-Pacific region.

Slaughters, which began working with Luminance last year, also reportedly took about a 5% equity stake in the business then, in return for help in developing its own AI software.

Luminance declined to provide details of its current stake, as well as that of Talis and Invoke. Slaughters did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

Slaughters City corporate partner Sally Wokes said: “The knowledge we have gained through piloting, testing and using the software on live transactions gives us real confidence in what we consider to be a highly differentiated due diligence tool. Our decision to invest in this latest funding round reflects our belief in Luminance and our commitment to harnessing innovation for the benefit of our clients.”

Luminance chief executive Emily Foges told Legal Week the need for funding was driven in particular by customer demand for a global service:It’s really just about having enough people to meet the demand. We’re not operationally heavy but our customers want a relationship with the Luminance team no matter where they are.

“We’ve opened Chicago with view to boosting that presence In the US and we are scouting out a presence in the APAC region. Singapore would make sense in terms of access to the US west coast. We will send a scouting party to Singapore in January.”

So far, Luminance’s other law firm clients include Cravath Swaine & Moore in the US, Gilbert + Tobin in Australia, and Uria Menendez Araoz & Rueda and in Europe.