Calgary-based SaaS company Athennian helps launch the law profession into the digital age. Customers of its cloud-based legal entity management software include some of North America’s largest law firms and accounting firms, major healthcare providers and international in-house legal teams.
“Legal is one of the last places for innovation to penetrate,” said Athennian COO, Josh Malate. “We’ve found a place where the environment is ripe for it.”
Athennian is a Calgary-made global solution that the city hopes to generate more of to achieve its vision in the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy: to be a destination for the world’s best entrepreneurs through a focus on Business Environment, Innovation, Place and Talent.
The company’s software digitalizes and automates secure corporate documents and, according to Malate, its ability to aggregate data and link into a variety of government sites increases paralegal productivity tenfold. Legal processes that used to take an hour, like forming a new company for a client, can be finished in six minutes.
“We have global reach and we’re committed to having our headquarters in Calgary. That brings long-term value to the city,” said Malate. “When we look at who funded our business at the start, it was all in Calgary. There’s a lot of capital and entrepreneurs here who understand risk and business and have made a lot of money.”
Calgary has a critical mass of tech companies and entrepreneurial support organizations to help launch and scale up startups. Athennian is a portfolio company of venture builder Thin Air Labs and secured $8 million in Series A funding in 2020. It acquired Montreal-based tax visualization startup Redox Technologies and was awarded the Fast Growth Under $5 million award at the Start Alberta Tech Awards. This year, extension funding added another $7 million to Athennian’s funding.
Having benefited from Calgary’s tech innovation ecosystem, Athennian is committed to giving back to the community and inspiring others to take the leap into tech. Team members participate in Product Calgary, provide mentorship at the University of Calgary's computer science department and Lighthouse Labs and speak at Rainforest Alberta events. Malate is a member of the A100, a non-profit organization of business leaders who help the next generation of tech entrepreneurs thrive in Alberta.
“We need people who thrive on change. We’re not looking for people from specific education and professional backgrounds and there won’t be a ton of experienced people doing what you’re going to be doing.”
In April 2021, Athennian announced it achieved 20 per cent market share among the top 30 largest law firms in Canada.
“Athennian is now being baked into the basic training process of professionals in our field,” said Malate. “We’re focused on North America today, but we absolutely are on the path to being a unicorn company and that means becoming a truly global platform.”
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