LawRato.com is the brainchild of Rohan Mahajan, a law graduate from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi. The idea occurred to Rohan when he faced a legal issue during his stay in Jakarta, Indonesia. The unavailability of a valid online platform offering verified legal counsel left him exasperated and compelled him to start LawRato.com in 2013 with his colleague Nikhil Sarup.
LawRato.com comprises 1,000 rated and reviewed lawyers in more than 150 cities across India. The Delhi-based startup allows users to reach out to lawyers via email, phone, video calling and face-to-face meetings. Users can post queries online, get them answered by lawyers and book a consultant for detailed opinion.
We have over 14,000 registered users and 1,000 paid clients on the platform. We are also getting 60,000 visitors, 5,000 leads and 150 paid users per month. More than 900 clients have booked paid consultations and hired lawyers through the platform so far. The team has generated revenues of Rs.40 lakh in the last nine months. We started the company with our hard-earned savings of around Rs.50 lakh.”
Before starting LawRato, Rohan (36) worked with Airtel, Digitas and Wizcraft International as a marketing professional. Nikhil (39) spent 14 years in digital marketing, building digital strategy, expertise in CRM in Digitas and Razorfish India. He left his job in Razorfish and joined forces with Rohan in August 2014.
Before onboarding the lawyers, the LawRato team conducts an in-depth online and offline verification of each lawyer on the platform. Even in metro cities, the duo physically visits the lawyer’s office to conduct basic-level sanity checks.
We deactivate the lawyer in case of consistent bad ratings and reviews from the users after ensuring the authenticity of these reviews.”
Recently, they launched a mobile app Lawyer Diary for lawyers to manage their client data, court appearances, billing, payments and case tracking. The app is available for free on the Play Store.
We at LawRato.com are committed to enabling lawyers with the right tools and technology to help manage and grow their practice. Lawyer Diary is our first initiative in this direction, and we have another super-useful app coming out in March”, adds Rohan.
LawRato has raised an angel fund of $100,000 from a group of angel investors. The fund will be used to extend the lawyer network to more than 5,000 and reach out to more people consulting with lawyers each month.
Lawyers listed on LawRato are free to quote their own fee to the client. The startup only charges a nominal fee of Rs. 500 for a 30-minute phone consultation. The startup also has a 100 per cent refund policy for unhappy clients.
In terms of revenue, the startup is growing at a rate of 20 per cent month on month. In 2014-15, it has generated a revenue of Rs 65 lakh and expects to achieve a revenue of Rs 1 crore for this fiscal year. In the next two years, the startup will be activating more than 10,000 top lawyers across the country.
The delivery of legal services has been transformed over the past few years with the mushrooming of legal tech startups that leverage innovative technologies and software to address legal services. Today consulting a lawyer has become finger play owing to a number of online marketplaces that connect people with lawyers.
On the flip side, over 3 crore court cases are still pending across India. With startups disrupting the legal space, can we expect speedy justice? Technology is not enough to solve this national issue, one has to ensure lawyer verification and be vigilant about the behavior of lawyers towards clients, and if they are abiding by the rules and regulations of The Bar Council of India.
Startups like MeetUrPro, Vakilsearch, IndiaFilings, Pathlegal and bCompliance are some of the startups in this space. In India, investors are yet to explore the essence of the legal tech industry. Legal tech startups in the US are believed to be scooping the highest amount of investments with more than $254 million in 2014.
Delhi-based LawRato tries to differentiate itself with its concierge curated marketplace and its in-house lawyers who handhold from consultation to verdict. To stay ahead in the competition, the startup needs to focus more on technology innovation and keep a constant eye on the movements of competitors.