Legitify: Dublin-Stockholm start-up building digital tools for legal services

22 Nov 2021

Aida Lutaj. Image: Legitify

Operating out of two capital cities, Legitify aims to accelerate the digitalisation of legal services, starting with notarisation.

Legitify is bringing digital transformation to legal services, starting with remote online notarisation.

Founded in 2020, this start-up’s flagship product incorporates AI and audio-video technology so that users can access notary services from anywhere.

Documents can be notarised online, cutting back on the travel, time and perhaps even inconvenience of going the more traditional route. It’s a service that has particular relevance in the Covid era, where people are trying to reduce their movements and contacts during surges.

Currently in beta, the features available using Legitify include identity verification, workflow automation, appointment scheduling and remote real-time video chat with a notary public. The platform can support notarising documents across jurisdictions and has identified use cases across legal and financial services, real estate, import and export, and others.

“We are primarily focusing on the EU and UK, non-US global markets,” said CEO and co-founder Aida Lutaj. “In the UK and Europe alone, there are over 120m notarisations completed annually at a cost of €25bn. Based upon charging a highly conservative convenience fee for using our solution, we believe that the market opportunity in the EU and UK is at least €3bn.”

Lutaj brings more than 13 years’ experience in business development, growth, strategy, finance and operations to Legitify. Originally from Albania, she is currently an executive MBA candidate at the Stockholm School of Economics. While based in the Swedish capital, she works between Stockholm and Dublin, where Legitify is headquartered.

Her co-founder, Arko Ganguli, is the legal brain behind the business. Serving as chief product officer, Ganguli brings years of experience as a lawyer to the role as well as a passion for bringing innovation to legal processes.

As is the way of tech start-ups, Lutaj and Ganguli aim to up efficiency, lower frustration and overall improve user experience for their target market. The technology is being built to integrate into existing workflows, such as business customer onboarding for fintechs, to further optimise the experience.

The beta product launched earlier this summer and Legitify is now processing live transactions across various jurisdictions. Lutaj, who has experience in growing teams and recruiting key talent, said the team now consists of five full-time employees, plus a front-end engineer on contract, a marketing intern and a product adviser.

Finding the right people at the right time is always going to be a challenge for a young unknown company. “It is competitive out there for early-stage start-ups, but we have been very lucky in this regard,” said Ganguli.

“There is genuine interest in the solution we are building from the talent force, especially the ones that have experienced the pain points themselves.”

From a product and tech perspective, Ganguli said the major challenges are the market transition and the adoption of public blockchain networks in the EU, and “making corresponding long-term technology strategy decisions which may be problematic to change on account of the actual adoption metrics in the industry”.

The short-term future of Legitify at least looks solid. The start-up secured $100,000 in pre-seed funding from early-stage VC firm Antler. It was also selected for the first NDRC accelerator supported by Dublin’s Dogpatch Labs, which couples investment of €100,000 under SAFE terms with the six-month mentor-led programme.

Legitify has also got commitments for its latest fundraise opened in mid-October. This round will be used to accelerate the business’s momentum and is expected to close by the end of this year.

One thing Lutaj has learned as an entrepreneur is the need to be patient in the early days, and learn to walk before you can run. “I am a runner. I have wanted to run from the very start,” she said.

“But you have to be strategic about how you go about it. Giving priority to different areas at the same time in the early stages, that can drain someone. Some days we push hard, some days we take a step back and evaluate. You have got to balance it, and finding the balance is not always easy.”

Legitify itself is balanced between two start-up ecosystems across Dublin and Stockholm, taking in the best of both.

“Dublin is a fantastic hub of entrepreneurship,” said Ganguli. “It has a vibrant tech ecosystem with a wide pool of highly skilled, global talent to hire from.”

Meanwhile in Stockholm, Lutaj is working from the home of many great European tech unicorns, from Spotify to Klarna. “It is super vibrant with great connections to the ecosystem, including founders, investors and great networking events,” she said.

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.