Doctrine raises $11.6 million for its legal search engine

French startup Doctrine is raising a $11.6 million funding round (€10 million) from existing investors Otium Venture and Xavier Niel. Doctrine is building a search engine for court decisions and other legal texts.

This is a key tool if you’re a lawyer or you’re working in the legal industry in general. There are now a thousand companies using the service. It currently costs around €129 per user per month.

A little back-of-the-envelope calculation lets you see that Doctrine currently has a monthly recurring revenue of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Doctrine competes with Dalloz and LexisNexis. These databases have been hugely popular because it’s been so hard to list court decisions. Not only Doctrine managed to get a ton of data, but they also have better technology to search through all these entries.

France is currently trying to share as much open data as possible. Eventually, court decisions could be accessible to anyone. But there are many challenges to overcome as each decision needs to be anonymized.

So it might not be a data-driven industry in a few years, but a tech-driven industry. Automating the indexation of court decisions and new laws is going to be key as more and more data becomes accessible. That’s why Doctrine seems to be in a good position against legacy software in the legal industry.

The startup is currently growing by 20 percent month over month. Doctrine plans to hire 160 people over the next 18 months.

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