Legaler, an Australian company building the blockchain infrastructure for the future of legal services, has raised $1.5m in a round led by MasterNode Ventures, joined by Pacific Blue Capital and a number of prominent legal industry figures. Previously having launched an online meeting tool in 2017 to help lawyers and clients collaborate easily and securely, which has been adopted in over 1000 firms across 80 countries, gives the company an advantage over most blockchain projects by having an existing team and global user base.
While 2 billion of the world’s population remains unbanked, and 3.5 billion live without access to the internet, Legaler is targeting the even greater figure of 4 billion people who live without access to justice around the world.
“In developed countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and even Australia, 80% of people encountering a legal issue are unable to get help due to the prohibitive costs and arcane complexity of the system. There needs to be a fundamental shift and blockchain technology will provide just that. Existing public blockchains have several limitations which limit privacy and transaction throughput which have prompted us to explore new consensus algorithms and sidechains for speed and cost savings, as well as zero-knowledge proof technology to meet the confidentiality requirements of the legal industry.”
Likened to Apple’s revolutionary App Store and developer SDKs, Legaler is an infrastructural layer consisting of a proprietary blockchain and developer tools for legal services to easily build their own secure and scalable decentralized applications (dApps). The goal is to bring the $1 trillion global legal industry online, eradicating the need for expensive intermediaries. The company hopes to further reduce the barriers to legal services by funding dApps that leverage Legaler’s blockchain and developer tools to provide greater access to justice.
Proving the power of the technology is one of the first dApps developed for the ecosystem: Legaler Aid. Developed in-house, the first-of-its-kind dApp that will match disadvantaged clients with pro bono legal advice, powered by a tokenized incentive system, along with a platform for crowdfunding social justice cases through transparent, tax-deductible donations.
Legaler’s soon to be announced advisory team boasts a ‘who’s who’ of the legal and blockchain world including members from CanYa, Stanford, Ripple and developers working directly with Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin. The company has also enlisted one of Australia’s most experienced blockchain and cryptocurrency lawyers, Michael Bacina from Piper Alderman, to ensure they meet all regulatory requirements.
In keeping with their mission of providing greater accessibility, the upcoming token sale will be structured in a unique way to enable anyone from the public to participate from day one. Ghiassi says, “although token sales were initially a democratic process, recent times have seen access to early stages of sales reserved for the elite few. We want to change that by getting back to what decentralization is all about.”
The recent injection of funds will help Legaler mature its technology and team ahead of the public sale. “It’s an exciting time to be in the legal industry,” says Ghiassi, also President of the Australian Legal Technology Association, “the convergence of AI, blockchain, and automation will bring radical change to a profession that has traditionally lagged behind other service industries”.