The legal industry is on the cusp of a transformation in which artificial-intelligence platforms dramatically affect how legal work gets done. Tech-savvy law firms are now setting up their own start-up accelerators, and this sector is expected to attract considerable VC attention in 2018. Most new entrants in the legal space focus on understanding large quantities of text to perform e-discovery, like Canada-based OpenText, or speeding up reviews of lengthy contracts, like Israeli startup LawGeex.
IPHawk is an Indian start-up in this space that aims to be the legal first-responder to small and mid-sized enterprises with an infringed trademark or copyright. IPhawk’s technology uses artificial intelligence to identify infringing usage of Intellectual Property (IP), using numerous metadata signals like the reputation and history of the publisher. The USP of IPHawk’s solution is the ability to autonomously respond to infringers and initiate the content removal process or other legally appropriate action.
2017 has been a tough year for startups to raise seed funding. To bring together entrepreneurs and angels, TiE Mumbai conducted the “Smasher Award” where six shortlisted startups competed for the grand prize of $40K (~INR 25 Lakhs). IPHawk’s founder Pranab Salian and co-founder Gaurav Shetty presented their solution to the jury consisting of several well-known entrepreneurs and angel investors, and won the spot-funding of $40k.
This investment is in a private capacity by TiE Angels including serial entrepreneur-turned investor Sanjay Mehta, Dewang Narella of Atom Technologies, Anjali Bansal of TPG Private Equity, and Pravin Gandhi of Seedfund. IPHawk plans to use the funds to improve their product and develop new features based on early customers feedback.
The startup will also benefit from having these experienced investors as mentors who can open future doors for the company.
Pranab Salian, Founder, IPHawk said, "Every responsible business today with a brand or even a website and domain name needs a plan to safeguard their Intellectual Property, just like they need insurance and anti virus software. IPHawk's platform provides a first line of defense for businesses around the world to protect their IP assets like brands and trademarks, avoiding needless delays and expensive litigation."
Gaurav Shetty, Co-founder, IPHawk said, “The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) plays a key role in fostering Mumbai’s startup ecosystem. We are grateful to TiE members for creating the opportunity for startups to access experienced mentors and capital at one event.”