Inside Legal Geek’s Start-Up Map
Legal Geek - 13/02/2019
Harry Beck

We have published an update to the Legal Geek startup map to track, categorise and profile the increasing number of startups and scaleups in the European Legal Tech space. The map represents a fairly chunky bit of work. To deliver it, we worked in partnership with Thomson Reuters, and a new advisory panel of these 5 industry experts:  

Legal Geek Start Up Map Panel

This article seeks to answer some of the questions you may have about it – and to explain the methodology behind our new design.

So folks, what’s new?

Glad you asked. The map, in it’s third overhaul, tracks 250+ start-ups and a number of scaleups from across Europe – up from 72 start-ups and 7 scaleups in the previous edition. One of the biggest changes with this edition is the taxonomy (a word taken from French meaning ‘science of classification’). We worked closely with Thomson Reuters, notably Abbi Connor, to produce a taxonomy which can be used to classify legal work.

The map is interactive and each company listed on the map is linked to a separate profile page which tells you who the founders are and provides a brief summary of the company including staff numbers, where it’s headquartered, how much funding it’s raised, video and the latest social media posts about the company.

Our system for classifying start-ups into categories has matured and is illustrated by the taxonomy infographic below. It should help you find a LawTech startup focussed on a specific problem.

Legal Geek Taxonomy for categorising startups

Why the update?

The first edition of our startup map, published in 2016, was loosely modelled on the iconic London Underground map created by Harry Beck (see headline picture above) which simplified a complicated transport system for 1930’s Londoners. 

Yet whilst the London Underground is expanding at a rate of approximately one station every five years, the European LawTech scene has grown far quicker: clocking approximately 60 new start-ups a year since 2016. So we had to accept that the start-up scene in LawTech had outgrown a re-purposed tube map and with a heavy heart we dispensed with ol’ Harry’s masterpiece in favour of an easier-to-follow design with a new taxonomy.

The new design uses straight lines which can continue to grow to an infinite length and will allow us to make changes to the map quicker. In some corners, however, this change was met with disappointment. The tube map design was immediately relatable to anyone who has travelled in London, or indeed on any major metro system. But the majority of the reaction has been very positive and we’ve been blown away by the engagement we’ve had. The start-up map is clearly a resource which truly matters to people in our network. And our new edition reflects the growth of the start-ups and scaleups we track: it’s bigger, streamlined, and more grown-up.

How can you get involved?

The map is still in BETA and we would love to hear from anyone who has spotted anything amiss. You can contact us in the following ways:

  • Share the map with your friends on email using URL:
  • Share it on social media tagging @weareLegalGeek [Twitter] or @LegalGeek [Linkedin] – note: no space between “Legal” and “Geek”]
  • Let us know if there is an error
  • Or if apply to be featured in future editions 

We will make appropriate and small updates to the map every six months.

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Startup map