ThoughtRiver, a developer of contract intelligence AI software, has raised more than USD1 million from a group of investors, including former Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence and Michael Findlay, chairman of Morgan Sindall and former co-head of investment banking for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The funding round, which was also listed on SyndicateRoom, an online equity investing platform, and promoted by Cambridge Capital Group, was oversubscribed within 11 days.
Founded in 2013 by Tim Pullan, ThoughtRiver has developed software that uses AI to scan and interpret information in written contracts. It produces visuals of the potential risks in an online dashboard to enable the user to make better decisions more quickly.
As well as providing financial backing, Laurence and Findlay will be advisers to ThoughtRiver, with Laurence accepting a formal appointment as board adviser. They join investor and adviser Duncan Painter, the CEO of FTSE-250 company Ascential who led the round.
Laurence says: “Drafting contracts is an everyday practice for businesses of all sizes. A big company however, can easily have more than 150,000 contracts stretching back years and, in many cases, signed by people who left the company long ago.
“As the former CEO of a USD13bn public company, I've signed many large contracts and lived with the consequences of badly worded ones from the past. ThoughtRiver allows contracts old and new to be scanned in minutes and evaluated for risk and liabilities. Having reviewed ThoughtRiver's capabilities, it is clear it will be at the forefront of this market and that's why I've invested in the company.”
Designed to reduce risk and speed up contracting for senior procurement managers, general counsel and decision makers within multinationals, ThoughtRiver is attracting interest from companies spanning a broad range of sectors. Dentsu Aegis Network, a global media, digital and communications group was the first company to trial ThoughtRiver to increase automation and lower risk in its contract departments. Other clients include well-known international brands operating in the electronics, legal and financial services industries.
The money raised will be used to fuel further growth ahead of a Series A funding round later this year.
Pullan says: “We hit the market at the right time, so have developed a strong reputation, which has generated a lot of interest and direct approaches from potential clients. Over the next few months, our aim is to convert those opportunities into revenue so it’s going to be a very busy period. The funding will be key to this, helping us to accelerate sales activity and product development as well as enhance client management.
“We’re really pleased to have Guy and Michael on board as we embark on our traction stage. As a combined team with Duncan, their experience and expertise will enable us to refine our strategy and lay the foundations for our next funding round in the winter. We expect this to be the last one we will need before taking the business into its major expansion and profitability stage.”
ThoughtRiver is also backed by international law firm Taylor Vinters, which has incubated the company.