What was the catalyst for launching Juro?
I started out as a lawyer at a firm in London. The job was challenging and rewarding, but I spent an awful lot of time – and our clients’ money – on fairly routine contract admin work, trying to support on documents that were managed by a really messy tech stack. Contracts lived in Word, emails and PDFs, bouncing around between systems and losing valuable data in the process. To this day, people still struggle to manage contracts using a word processor invented in the 1980s.
The concept of Juro was born out of this frustration. Contracts are critical to business and commerce, and the processes around them just seemed so clunky and painful. Together with my co-founder and CPO, Pavel Kovalevich, we set out to try and change things.
Tell me about the business – what it is, what it aims to achieve, who you work with, how you reach customers and so on?
Juro is an all-in-one contract automation platform that enables teams to streamline the creation, execution, and management of routine contracts at scale. We’re on a mission to help the world agree more, working with in-house legal teams at scaling businesses like Deliveroo, Cazoo, and Trustpilot to help them agree and manage contracts in one unified workspace.
How has the business evolved since its launch? When was this?
Juro’s evolution since inception in 2016 has been dramatic and we have grown at a rapid pace. Since we launched, Juro:
Was voted the #1 startup to work for in London in 2022
Has processed over 500,000 contracts through the platform
Has thousands of users automating contracts every day – our first customer, Deliveroo, is still using Juro to agree and manage contracts six years later
Has set up a community for in-house lawyers and legal ops experts, which is now 700-strong
We’ve also gone from two co-founders running a business in my kitchen, to a team of almost 100 people, headquartered in London, with a hub in Riga and a large remote workforce.
How are you funded?
We’re backed by Eight Roads, Union Square Ventures, Point Nine Capital, Seedcamp, and the founders of TransferWise, Gumtree, and Indeed. We raised $23M in our Series B round with Eight Roads in January 2022, bringing our total funding to date to $32.5M.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome this?
The biggest challenge we face is ongoing – how to maintain our growth engine as we scale. I think about scaling in terms of team, tech and, traction: how do we make sure we continue to hire the right people, how do we ensure our technology still resonates with our customers, and how do we grow in a meaningful and sustainable way?
These questions aren’t ones we can answer and action overnight, but they’re important to keep front of mind as we continue to grow, and the company continues to change.
How does Juro answer an unmet need?
The way lawyers work is super manual, and this highlighted the pain we set out to resolve through Juro. I had plenty of personal experience to lean on here, during my time as a solicitor. In one example, I had to negotiate 50 non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in a week. Despite these contracts being some of the most common in the business world, the process of agreeing and managing these documents was incredibly time-consuming.
I noticed the same pain in the in-house world, with legal teams at small companies.
In-house lawyers have even less time – imagine you join a rapidly-scaling business, where you’re the only lawyer and everything is on fire. Alongside risk mitigation, firefighting, and answering questions from every corner of the business, lawyers also have to contend with a manual contract process.
There are solutions out there that streamline this process, but the legacy contract lifecycle management (CLM) platforms are typically aimed at enterprise businesses, with pricing to match and more features than a scaling business may need.
We help these smaller, high-growth businesses automate routine contracts, like NDAs, MSAs, and offer letters, in a unified workspace – ideal for lean, time-crunched legal teams.
What’s in store for the future?
We’re setting out to become the industry leader in contract automation, in order to realise our mission to help the world agree more. The aim is to scale the team and increase coverage of our product, bringing more contracts and workflows into the platform. We’re also hiring into the executive team at the moment, so we can build out our great leadership team and keep it laser-focused on the needs of our customers.
What one piece of advice would you give other founders or future founders?
Many startups fail because they create a solution in search of a problem. You’ll find it much easier to get started and thrive if you look at what’s broken and take steps to fix it. The best way to do this is by listening to your customers, this feedback is a thousand times more valuable than heavy research in isolation, and will ensure you’re building a product that people actually want to use.