Nowadays Shrijay Sheth is in a buoyant mood. His upbeat mood is understandable considering that his startup LegalWiz has just scooped up Rs 3.8 crores of funding from ContCentric IT Services. While funding always helps startups in navigating smoothly amid uncertainties, it is also a sort of validation of their success. In the case of LegalWiz, the latest funding of Rs 3.8 crores testifies the success of its mission – helping startups and small businesses in fulfilling its legal compliances.
Even before starting LegalWiz, Sheth’s knowledge about legal compliances was quite impressive. This was thanks to his long stint at LegalTech giant ‘LegalZoom.’ When he decided to chart out an independent path with LegalWiz, he took his passion to another level and in the process helped scores of small businesses & startups in fulfilling legal compliances.
Techpluto caught up with LegalWiz’s co- founder Shrijay Sheth to talk about the latest funding round, issues surrounding legal compliances and on many other issues. This is Shrijay Sheth’s first exclusive interview after LegalWiz’s recent Rs 3.3 Cr funding.
Q 1) How and when did you get the idea of starting LegalWiz?
Hailing from a business background, I always dreamt of building a business. But I chose to get qualified first and gain some substantial experience before starting up. Watching my father run his business, I have witnessed 1st hand the impact an entrepreneur can have on society and people at large. There was a strong inner desire to create something on my own.
My stint of 5+ years at LegalTech giant – LegalZoom laid the base. Once I returned to India, I went through the process of registering my business and realized that many first-generation entrepreneurs in India lack quality service providers within their immediate network. Even the industry itself was fragmented, with most of the legal service providers focussing on a particular niche.
I met Naman at a business professional networking event in 2014. He then ran a conventional CA firm along with his family. It struck us immediately – my background in Legal eCommerce and his expertise as a CA could create a strong base for offering better services, and that is how we created a comprehensive business professional solution.
Q2) Since LegalWiz is mainly focused on startups and small businesses; we’d like to know how good or bad they are in fulfilling legal compliances?
Startups and Small businesses are often so focused on the business that the compliances often do not rate high on the list of priorities. But that scenario is changing rapidly. They are becoming more aware and appreciate that compliances are an absolute necessity that are crucial for growing their business. Moreover, I now observe how prompt startups & SMEs are about their compliances, because it also makes them eligible for many opportunities that the ecosystem offers.
Q3) Do you think young entrepreneurs are especially ignorant about legal compliances?
That may have been the case a few years back. But now, interacting with entrepreneurs across India, I strongly feel that young entrepreneurs are much more aware and concerned. Also, the absolute need for legal compliance is something they realize much more keenly now. As businesses, they are learning that being compliant opens up more doors, more opportunities. The information and awareness levels are both higher than a few years back.
Q4) LegalWiz has just raised INR 3.8 Cr from ContCentric? Can you please shed light in great detail on how the company plans to use this fresh capital infusion?
We are excited about the way forward, having raised Rs 3.8 cr from Concentric. With the investment in place, we are putting the future roadmap for technology building. More than just funds, we are looking at a synergistic partnership with Concentric has a proven track record of building scalable technology for companies that cater to 1000s of concurrent users.
Q5) Technology forms a key component for a legal tech company like LegalWiz. How does LegalWiz go about in leveraging modern technology in ensuring that all legal compliances are 100% transparent & accurate?
Indeed, technology is a crucial component. With the investment in place, Legalwiz.in will enhance capabilities to create increased transparency and user experience. With our systems being designed to not only become a suggestive tool for clients to stay compliant, we are also building a robust, tech-backed internal control system for better workflow management & client profile management to maximize the lifetime value of each client and ease of dealing with the scale.
Q 6) Can you please enlist some of the important services offered by LegalWiz?
Our core services include offering business registration solutions to startups and SMEs, along with other mandatory compliance services. It includes obtaining tax and government registrations like GST, etc and ensure their regular filings. We also have specialists who advise on intellectual property rights that enable businesses to secure their trademarks, copyrights, and patents.
Besides, we extend our services to providing customized legal document drafting, online bookkeeping and fulfilling yearly compliance needs for LLPs and Private Limited Companies. Recently, we have added a couple of other services like ISO certification for quality assurance and FSSAI registration for running a food business. There are no hidden charges, and every service mentioned on the website includes professional fees, GST and government charges.
Most of these services have different packages to choose from – to create better flexibility for the kind of businesses that we serve. Users will have the opportunity at the checkout page to check the bifurcation of charges under each package.
Q 7) What was the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on LegalWiz’s business? What are some of the long term goals that company has in mind for the ongoing financial year?
Though Covid 19 has definitely has had an impact, we moved to WFH mode quite early on. After the initial transition phase, we adapted to the circumstances and have emerged stronger & more resilient from it. Constant communications, taking ownership of outcomes, expanded roles – all these helped us to ride out the storm and deliver. That said, we recently posted the highest revenue in our 4 years of existence.
We launched the partner platform during the Pandemic – aimed at offering the highest quality of services possible to our clients. This enabled them to avail top-notch services at a reasonable and discounted cost, so they can focus on building and growing their business. This platform opened up a new stream of revenue, at very low customer acquisition costs. Moreover, it has also helped us build stronger collaborative partnerships with our Partners who are best-in-class enablers of the ecosystem.
Going forward, we plan to engage actively seek partnerships with AICs (Atal Incubation Centers), Entrepreneurship Cells in Colleges & Universities, Co-Working spaces and other players in the ecosystem. We also plan to recruit aggressively and grow our team. We will stay invested in and leverage Technology to shape our deliveries, so that we continue to offer a best-in-class CX. Plugging loopholes and bridging gaps in the delivery process to serve our customers better remains a core priority as always. As we scale, we will continue to invest in technologies that help us shape deliveries better.
Q 8) Finally, what is your advice to young entrepreneurs who want to try their luck in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship?
These are exciting times to dream, envision and build – I strongly believe that the Younger generation should aspire to be entrepreneurs for the right reason. Not only to earn money, but to be change-agents, to create lasting impact, to spur employment and grow as persons…thereby resulting in a solid contribution to the national economy. My message to aspiring entrepreneurs is – work very hard, be patient and invest in relationships.