A few weeks ago, Betabeat jumped down the rabbit hole of legal starts that were trying to bid farewell to the billable hour by making it cheaper and easier to get legal advice and legal documents.
At the time, we had a heaping handful of signs that the venture capital market thought the time was ripe for legal disruption. Just last year, Nolo.com was acquired for $21 million, LegalZoom picked up $66 million (and rumors of an IPO), local TechCrunch Disrupt winners Docracy raised $650,000. Google Ventures led a $1 million round in LawPivot and an $18.5 million round in Rocket Lawyer.
But apparently that was just the beginning.
Just five months after raising that $18.5 million, VentureBeat uncovered an SEC filing that Rocket Lawyer, which is based in San Francisco has raised another $10.8 million.
According to the company:
“This is a combined Series D financing of $18.5M from August Capital, Google Ventures and Investor Growth Capital plus the $10.7 M investment from the new investor, Industry Ventures, for a total of $29.2M.”
Those additional funds bring Rocket Lawyer’s funding to $40 million. The site competes with LegalZoom, which has faced a spate of lawsuits, but has managed to double its visitors between September 2010 and September 2011 and claims to have a customer base of 15 million individuals and several thousands businesses.
In a new niche like legal startups and a profession so resistant to change, this influx of funds could be goods news for very early stage locals like Docracy, or General Assembly-based Paperlex. If the Groupon clones were any indication, VCs don’t seem to have a problem betting on a number of horses in one race.