Humans are not designed to spend hours pouring through hundreds of pages of tiny details, but AI assistants are. That’s why Malmö-based Donna Technologies is on a mission to replace the robot within the lawyer.
The startup has just raised €2.2 million in a seed funding round led by prominent European VC firm Point Nine Capital and other notable angel investors.
The startup produces a convenient Microsoft Word add-in that lawyers can use to spots issues, see helpful suggestions and have relevant information at hand while working on a contract. Donna promises to allow lawyers to ‘fall in love with contract drafting again’.
With a friendly interface and powered by a custom Natural Language Processing engine, Donna learns and gets smarter with use, and has been adopted by over a thousand lawyers in more than 50 countries. The startup has already analysed more than 500,000 documents from a variety of legal fields.
The startup helps to reduce unbilled time spent on important but tedious tasks that many clients don’t notice anyways – because people aren’t made for noticing every comma and capital letter.
“Donna is a perfect example of how AI can be used to assist, not replace, humans. Donna doesn’t pretend that it can do all of the work that lawyers do,” said Christoph Janz, managing partner at Point Nine Capital. “Like a lane change assistant, Donna stays in the background most of the time, but it knows when to show up to help lawyers avoid expensive or embarrassing mistakes. We are impressed by the team and what they have done to date and we look forward to supporting them in this next stage of their growth!”
Donna was founded in 2017, when entrepreneurs and NLP specialists Rik Nauta and Anton Gerdes found that 20% of Terms and Conditions on over 3.2 billion websites they had scraped contained incorrect company names, simply because they had been copied-and-pasted. So they connected the idea to other legal documents and began to train an NLP algorithm to help lawyers recognise and correct similar mistake types.
Nauta, the CEO, wrote his first license agreement when he was 11 years old while assisting his mother’s legal department as a summer intern.