Made for lawyers by a lawyer, Chandigarh-based Viable Weblog’s platform helps lawyers and users stay abreast with case details on smartphones and laptops.
The technology boom has disrupted most sectors - patients can consult doctors on smartphones, teachers can conduct classes for students online, and fitness freaks can keep track of their health via apps. Technology is making lives easier for many professionals and lawyers are no exception.
With numerous legal tech startups working in this space, husband-wife duo, Vikas Pandit (32) and Pallavi Mishra (30), decided to work on an app that can replace heavy diaries that contain case details.
Enter E-weblog, a digitised way of maintaining court diaries. From his experiences, Vikas, a lawyer, identified the need to replace manual court diaries with an app.
The couple was greatly influenced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative and in November 2015 embarked on their journey with an initial investment of Rs 15 lakh. They signed up an external IT company to develop the app, giving wings to their innovative idea. After a year of thorough research and market survey, they launched the mobile app on Google Playstore and iOS in October 2016.
“With our PM stressing on digitising India and the need to reduce paper work, we thought why not digitalise our daily court diary and make a proper platform to manage all the data on computers as well,” says Vikas Pandit, Co-founder of Viable Weblog.
However, the couple soon realised the need for building a web-based application for computers and laptops as saving data for multiple cases could be a challenge from the mobile app. The limited memory of smartphones also made it essential to have a web-based application.
On March 5, 2017, Viable Weblog launched a full version of its software in three different forms along with advanced feature versions to suit the budget and requirements of users.
“The biggest challenge is to convince our users to buy our product, because lawyers are used to their diaries. Secondly there are so many lawyers in India and it is difficult to reach each and every lawyer. We needed strong marketing strategies and investors,” Pallavi says.
How does the platform help?
The E-weblog aims to simplify a lawyer’s life. The platform is available as a free mobile app (on Playstore and iOS) and web-based application (can be downloaded from the brand’s website). The app has been downloaded close to 2,500 times in the last six months.
The mobile and web applications work in sync as data is saved on a dedicated cloud server, allowing users multiple logins at the same time. A user opting for the platform’s free version can use basic features such as adding and viewing case details. The app lets the user see the complete history along with all comments/status of each day and the next date. The details automatically appear on the next date of the case on your calendar.
To avail more features, such as one-click email and daily case list, users need to upgrade to the paid versions available in three different yearly plans. At an additional cost, each yearly plan also lets users opt for advanced features, including client fee management and SMS alert to clients.
The legal tech space in India
As per industry estimates, the legal market is estimated to be worth $10 billion (Rs 67,000 crore). With the startup ecosystem growing at a rapid pace, new businesses often get entangled in legal battles due to lack of knowledge about legal aspects. The need for cost-effective solutions has given a significant boost to the legal tech space in India.
Though experts feel legal tech is at a nascent stage, several startups, including LawRato.com and HiGrit Services among others, have raised funding in the last couple of months.
In terms of competition, E-weblog faces competition from other apps such as Advocate Daybook, Vakil Diary and Lawyer Calendar among others. However, E-weblog aims to stand out with its “user-friendly features and cost-effective offerings”.
“Our USP is our software and command on subject clarity. Also, we are offering pocket-friendly pricing; that sets us apart from our competitors. In fact, we are selling at half the price with better features,” Vikas says.
Currently, the startup is bootstrapped and is looking to raise funds soon. Going ahead, the platform aims to get registered with many more lawyers in India and hopes to take its offerings to the global market. The brand is also planning to launch its second product – a location-specific lawyer discovery app for common people. This will also enable lawyers to generate more clients and grow their practice.