Monday, 5 October 2015

Diary of a Startup - Crowdfunding [Part 1]


The UK legal services market is now valued at an estimated £29.3bn, increasing at a rate of 6% per annum. With web transactions predicted to rise by 16.2% year-on-year, UK consumers are set to make 21.2 online purchases each in 2015, at an average unit price of £55.76. A recent IRN consumer survey also showed '40% of respondents would be attracted by the convenience and low cost of online legal services'. So with 86% of the UK adult population now regularly using the internet, and 49% (over 22 million people) having an average of 3.5 legal needs in the past 3 years (commonly over consumer goods or services), we believe this is a compelling segment for disruption.

Our test marketing in the UK generated over 125,000 website visits per day, which exceeds those of top international law firms and equals Facebook on first VC funding. The company also has a projected EBITDA of £2.2m in three years' time. A P/E of 4 gives a company valuation of £8.4m for this period. We intend to channel surplus profits into a gradual European rollout.

In addition to this, we have already had considerable interest from major corporations and charities both at home and abroad, including Paramount Pictures (Viacom) and the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux. With the legal profession itself looking to benefit from this service, our trusted brand is also followed by over a dozen of the UK's leading Queen's Counsel on Twitter.

Who are we?

We are a small team of passionate, tech-savvy British social entrepreneurs, looking to democratise access to legal help and advice for people and businesses, in the wake of the legal aid cuts and resulting advice deserts. Our founder is an internet pioneer, credited by Richard Susskind with creating the first legal services comparison website. Together, we have unrivalled expertise in both the online environment and the practise of law. Our company has also been fortunate enough to attract Draper Esprit as project adviser. And unlike Google, our mantra is 'leave the world a little better than you found it'.

What will we be offering?

-       Fully qualified staff giving on-demand advice in the 8 key areas of UK law (property, employment, contract, family (incl. wills), motoring, criminal, personal injury and business) … with more due in the future.
-       Via high grade end-to-end encrypted internet portal and free mobile/tablet apps - Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry platforms (with video conferencing option).
-       Pay-as-you-go at £0.60ppm - and unlike any other service, with no tie-in or minimum spend, you can choose exactly how much advice you actually need.
-       Instant (dual authentication) social media sign up and cardless payment.
-       Free legal guides in each practice area, together with regular pro bono online advice clinics.
-       Available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.

How will we achieve this?

Changes to UK legal services legislation means companies can now provide advice without all the constraints suffered by traditional law firms. This crucially includes the ability to accept third-party development funding. So for the first time, the legal industry is a level playing field ripe for client-focused innovation.

-       We intend to develop and patent our own unique cutting-edge software (with no shared cloud, website flash, tracking cookies, adverts or robot helpers in sight), and expect a build time of approximately 7 months.
-       We have already undertaken significant R&D into machine learning using big data (to help us help you faster), and designed the templates for our website.
-       We intend to create a social media viral video campaign to advertise our services.
-       We already hold the Quegal trademark in the UK, together with the relevant company domain names.
-       With your help we aim to raise a minimum of £150,000 in this round (with no upper ceiling), and expect to offer a 39% return on your investment within 18 months. Simply put, the more we can crowdfund the sooner we'll be able to offer you a wider range of services.

What makes this investment so special?

-       It is primarily a project for social good, and as such intended to help the widest possible audience.
-       We will be creating deprived area jobs, giving local people real career opportunities. Together with being an early adopter of the national living wage, and strong proponent of workplace equality.
-       Plus training students from the large university (and law school) on our doorstep.
-       Not to mention being an entirely UK based world first!

How is our company different?

A lack of diversification by established online retailers, together with a persistent unwillingness by the profession to regulate quality, reduce costs, simplify advice and offer greater accessibility, will allow us to secure a considerable niche market share. We have been called the Uber for law, but we are of course much more than that.

With an ethos and structure that supports flexible home working (and bring your own device policy), together with the advent of paralegal accreditation, our staff members also hold equity in the business, and as such are fully invested in providing you with the best possible service.

Our promise to you includes no expensive advertising, offices or partner salaries, no overseas support centres, no hidden extra charges, no elaborate terms & conditions and never any marketing spam. Nor will we sell any of your personal information to a third party. Indeed now you will never have to overpay for (or under receive from) unnecessary fixed fee packages ever again.

-       The speed of response by our team (with free support).
-       A fraction of the cost of legal insurance schemes, telephone helplines, bogus free/virtual firms or any foreign web/app 3rd party referral outfit.
-       Quality control across the board, with full indemnity cover.
-       Accessibility options built into our website and apps.
-       Ease of use and money-back guarantee.
-       It puts you firmly in control.

Are we offering any perks?

-       Legal advice vouchers, limited edition viral video branded t-shirts, and custom animated screensavers will be available for specific levels of investment.

Where can you find us online?

-       Our campaign website (with links to social media channels) is now online at We will be regularly updating this with new content as our crowdfunding launch approaches. In the meantime, for a question of legal just go

If you would like more information about our project please contact us.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Diary of a Startup - Crowdfunding


Hello everyone, over the next few months I will be regularly documenting the crowdfunding of our project here on my blog.

This will include an in-depth look at all the steps we take to build and market an offering from start to finish. From pitch deck text and financial projections to social media campaigns and viral videos.

It is also an opportunity for you to interact with us during the planning stages, to ensure our project closely meets all of your needs.

My hope is that this will then serve as a blueprint for those planning their own crowdfunding in the future.

With that in mind, we will begin with the anatomy of a crowdfunding campaign text. As it particularly suits our project focus, this will be in the form of a Q&A session.

This is not only a great way of analysing your business model, but also gathering valuable feedback from potential customers and those working with you on the project.

Whilst we put the finishing touches to this, please do also come and join us on Facebook and Twitter, where you will find regular legal updates for both the consumer and business.