Flickr (Justin Kan – Gnomedex 07)
With an eye on keeping legal fees affordable, the 2-year-old startup Atrium “rents” lawyers to burgeoning businesses.
Hey, we get it. It’s like the WeWork of lawyer rentals! *Cue cheers, lights, ticker tape*
He’s not a lawyer, nor did he play one on TV…
But CEO Justin Kan did star in an online reality show, Justin.TV. The project morphed into the video game streaming service Twitch, which Amazon bought for $1B.
Having worked on several startups since, Kan noticed the beaucoup bucks spent on legal fees and the fact that many billable hours go toward time sucks like preparing documents.
By building a software platform to automate mundane tasks and luring attorneys from big firms by matching their standardized salaries, Kan created a WeWork-esque legal service.
Startups purchase a $500/month “membership” that grants them basic access to corporate attorneys, and major projects can be completed for a flat fee that is cheaper than what most law firms charge.
Question is: Kan Atrium make a profit?
Despite raising $75m in funding and amassing 400+ clients, the way Atrium is structured, it eats the cost when deals become more complicated than what the flat fee covers.
And recession rumblings could spell trouble. When venture capitalists ink fewer deals, demand for legal services drops. However, because Atrium can shave 5 hours — thus thousands of dollars — off the amount of time it takes a conventional law firm to complete a startup’s financing paperwork, it could be sitting pretty.