An Estonian legaltech startup HUGO.legal has signed a contract with the Estonian Ministry of Justice, receiving a grant of up to €3.5 million for providing an infrastructure to offer affordable legal services for Estonian residents. It is now is gearing up to raise €1.5 million euros as a late seed investment to finance the expansion to new markets in the EU and Africa.
Founded in 2019, HUGO is on a mission to make access to justice possible for everyone. It combines a ‘sharing economy-based’ marketplace of lawyers who provide legal services up to 3 times more affordable than the average hourly rate on the market. The startup also provides lawbots-as-a-service to broaden access to affordable and free of charge legal services for people in need. Additionally, HUGO supports lawyers’ work by providing them with a more efficient client management tool, work automation, and a lawbot-assistant to minimize their non-billable hours.
“80% of the world’s population cannot afford legal services due to its high price. HUGO is here to minimize the injustice people bear due to economical reasons. With HUGO’s free-to-use lawbots and legal consultation at affordable rates are our first steps towards access to justice. We are absolutely thrilled that the Estonian government is supporting access to justice on a higher level for Estonian residents, I hope other countries follow that example”, said HUGO.legal founder and CEO Artur Fjodorov.
From May 1 2021, Estonian residents with a gross income less than €1200 (or €1700 in case of the rights of a child) receive the first two hours of legal help at HUGO.legal for free, financed by the government with a €735K yearly cap.
HUGO.legal was founded by serial entrepreneurs Artur Fjodorov, Erki Pisuke, and Age Viks. So far, HUGO has offered free of charge and affordable legal services to more than 50,000 customers, which form around 4% of the Estonian population. In 2020, HUGO won the ‘LegalTech Startup Challenge’ powered by Baker McKenzie, and in 2019, the ‘Nordic LegalTech Competition’.