Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations. 

Arlington-based BlackBoiler, a startup that generates automated markup suggestions for corporate contracts, has secured $3.2 million in funding.

The $3.2 million comes angel investors, family offices and a strategic corporate investor: DocuSign. Some of the individual investors include the general counsels for Fortune 100 companies.

The money will expand how BlackBoiler applies its proprietary Artificial Intelligence technology, help the company acquire more clients and hire more staff to handle development and help new clients get started.

“AI is not going to replace lawyers but lawyers should use AI,” said Dan Broderick, co-founder and CEO of BlackBoiler. “BlackBoiler can’t fully automate contract negotiation, but we can make you 60% to 70% more efficient.”

The company and its technology “addresses a global, $35 billion market in which companies spend $26 billion reviewing and negotiating semantically similar contracts, $7 billion of which is verbatim work,” according to a press release. “The company’s automated editing technology suggests company-specific revisions to corporate documents to automate the process of contract negotiation — right in Track Changes, like an attorney would.”

The additional funding will fund research and development to make the proprietary technology more efficient. Right now, clients gather 100 to 200 documents of how they edited contracts and documents, and an editing model is created from that, Broderick said.

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“In the future, clients can build models on the fly,” using an old model to make a new model more quickly, he said.

BlackBoiler will also be expanding to other areas besides contracts with repetitive editing: the legal discovery process, corporate questionnaires and regulatory filings, Broderick said.

“It’s not just inefficient — it’s bad business,” Broderick said, of the problem he’s trying to solve. “People need to be thinking of tech as a partnership instead of thinking of it as ‘doing everything for me.’”

BlackBoiler’s client roster includes some of the largest U.S. law firms and several organizations within the Fortune 1000, including TE Connectivity, a $14 billion technology manufacturer.

“BlackBoiler’s AI platform provides our law department with a dynamic productivity tool driving efficiency and increased speed in contract review and execution,” said Jim Michalowicz, Head of Legal Operations Business Performance at TE Connectivity. “The BlackBoiler tool also provides a significantly greater level of accuracy by the re-use of knowledge, standard clause banks and contract templates.”

The startup, which lists an office address along Lee Highway near the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center, previously received funding in 2017 through a $225,000 small business grant from the National Science Foundation.

The company holds six patents in the U.S. and is currently pursuing additional intellectual property protection in the U.S., Canada and Europe.



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