Bench IQ, the groundbreaking AI-powered legal technology company, is transforming the landscape of legal research by offering unparalleled insights into judges’ rulings. The company recently announced the successful closure of a $2.1M (USD) pre-seed funding round. This investment was co-led by notable VCs Maple and Haystack. It also received contributions from tech leaders such as Jason Boehmig, CEO of Ironclad, and Qasar Younis, CEO of Applied Intuition and former COO of Y-Combinator. Additionally, top law firms like Cooley1, Fenwick, and Wilson Sonsini, along with senior partners at Kirkland & Ellis, participated. This underscores the tech and legal community’s belief in Bench IQ’s disruptive approach to legal research.

Founded by the pioneering minds behind ROSS Intelligence, Bench IQ was created by CEO Jimoh Ovbiagele, CTO Maxim Isakov, and a former Kirkland & Ellis partner, Jeffrey Gettleman. The company addresses a long-standing issue in legal practice: the fact that judges publish written opinions for only about 3% of all rulings. By leveraging the latest advancements in Large Language Models (LLMs), Bench IQ has compiled and is exploiting a new legal dataset. This dataset provides comprehensive insights into the decision-making patterns of judges, covering 100% of their rulings. Details on this achievement are currently confidential due to pending patents.

“We created Bench IQ for the best and brightest, working on cases with the highest stakes. They work tirelessly to deliver the best results. We help them anticipate the unexpected and leave absolutely nothing to chance,” said Ovbiagele. At present, Bench IQ is privileged to partner closely with 12 of the AmLaw 100 firms and counting. Given the competitive advantage Bench IQ offers, the company must keep these partnerships confidential to maintain its clients’ edge. Bench IQ looks forward to sharing more soon as circumstances change.

Gettleman, who originally conceived the idea for Bench IQ during his tenure at Kirkland & Ellis, added, “Over almost two decades at Kirkland, I learned how vital it is to understand how a judge thinks to achieve your objective. Bench IQ allows lawyers to understand their judge in a way no other resource can. It helps them build arguments they can be confident in and deliver the desired results.”

The burgeoning interest in legal AI, highlighted by Thomson Reuters’ acquisition of Castext for $650M and over $100M invested in legal AI startups in the last three months, signals a growing adoption of AI-enhanced legal processes. Amidst this investment surge, Bench IQ differentiates itself by not just offering efficiency but also greater effectiveness. Bench IQ has carved out a niche in the rapidly growing sector by specializing in judicial intelligence and improving lawyers’ courtroom results. The fact that 12 of the AmLaw 100 firms are already working with Bench IQ validates this approach, underscoring its relevance and impact in the legal marketplace.

Andre Charoo, General Partner at Maple, said, “We think Bench IQ has the potential to create the new standard of law—one that is based on understanding the players in the legal game, not just about the rules of the game. The team has uncovered a unique insight that is not obvious to most, and we’re incredibly excited to be part of their journey in changing the legal industry as we know it.”

“Bench IQ immediately stood out to us as a novel way to use LLMs to solve a persistent challenge in legal research,” added Aashay Sanghvi, Partner at Haystack Ventures. “We are delighted to partner with Jimoh, Maxim, and Jeffrey as they build the leading legal reconnaissance platform.”

Also participating in the round were Inovia Capital, Soma Capital, Roach Capital, Alumni Ventures, Boon Fund, Andrew Arruda (CEO, Flexpa), Zain Manji, Arif Bhanji, Nivrith Sekhar, and Ronald Gosio, alongside additional angel investors.