After a year of rapid growth, Athennian extends Series A round by $7 million

Calgary-based legal software startup Athennian has added $7 million CAD to its Series A round of funding as it sees continued growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new funding brings Athennian’s total funding for its Series A round to $15 million. The startup initially raised an $8 million Series A round last September that was led by Arthur Ventures.

Camara said Athennian is approaching 200 customers and was able to triple its revenue over 2020.

Arthur Ventures also led the Series A extension. New investors Touchdown Ventures and Clio CEO, Jack Newton, also participated in the extension, alongside Round13 Capital and other existing investors. Adrian Camara, CEO of Athennian, noted to BetaKit the deal involved a nominal amount of secondary, but exact figures were not disclosed.

The participation of Clio’s CEO Newton in this extension is notable, as Camara told BetaKit Athennian had seen a lot of inbound interest from other legaltech companies looking to integrate with Athennian’s cloud-based software. Clio is a legal software company that serves 150,000 customers spanning 100 countries. In 2019, Clio raised a massive $330 million CAD Series D funding round, at the time, the largest growth stage investment in a Canadian company since 2000.

Athennian’s software is used by law firms, legal departments, and professional services firms to automate subsidiary and entity management, and transform compliance, governance, and transactional workflows. The data collected on this platform covers a wide range of services, including compliance, ownership, and digital signatures.

The startup was launched in late 2017 after Camara, who previously worked as a lawyer in corporate finance as well as merger and acquisitions, noticed “archaic” practices around managing data and information.

The extension comes on the heels of a year of growth for Athennian. After spending the first two years of its existence quietly building out its product, the startup emerged from stealth last September.

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Since September, the company claims its revenue and headcount have more than doubled in size. Athennian now boasts among its customers large Canadian law firms, such as Fasken, Torys, and Cassels Brock & Blackwell. Camara told BetaKit the startup is approaching 200 customers, was able to triple its revenue over 2020, and is close to having 200,000 actively managed entities on its platform. Camara said the state of the legal industry in the COVID-19 era has caused the workloads of in-house legal teams and paralegals to increase dramatically, driving the need for more automation.

“Our customers have been really busy and there has been more pressure on them, but in a remote world, they can’t access their data when it’s physically located at the office,” said Camera. “So that really brought forward a decade of digital transformation that needed to happen, and compressed that [into] 12 months.”

Another milestone for Athennian in 2020 was its acquisition of Redox, a Montreal-based tax visualization startup. This was part of a broader play by Athennian to become what Camara has previously called “the Salesforce of legal.”

At the time of that deal, Athennian revealed plans to launch an open API and app store in 2021.
Product development and service expansion are key areas of investment for the startup following this raise. Speaking recently with BetaKit, Camara said the open API is expected to launch in the second quarter of the year.

Athennian entered 2020 with 15 employees and rounded out the year with 65. With the new funding, Athennian is looking to increase the size of its team.

Image courtesy Athennian.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.