The investment allows Valora to focus on technology development over services, while DTI’s clients get access to data classification technology.
By Ian Lopez
E-discovery is a buyer’s market, defined by large companies like LDiscovery and OpenText buying up industry players to enhance their own service delivery. But the biggest purchase monetarily in 2016 was made by DTI, which bought Epiq in a deal valued at $1 billion that merged the two companies.
The company’s investment aspirations, though, did not stop there. Today, DTI announced a minority investment in Valora, a Bedford, Massachusetts-based technology and services company focusing on a variety of legal document management tasks.
As part of investment round in which Valora accrued $1.75 million in equity funding, the investment allows DTI and Epiq clients access to Valora technology for automated data classification and data mining. For Valora, the investment allows the company to shift resources toward technology development, part of an existing plan to focus more on technology than services. Neither company would comment on the financial specifics of the investment.
Valora will remain an independent company, and it had a relationship with DTI prior to the investment, auto-coding documents for in-house company and e-discovery projects, Kevin Jacobs, vice president of mergers and acquisitions at DTI, told Legaltech News. He noted that DTI was currently working on “active proposals” to provide Valora, and that the technology was already available to some clients.
“The purpose of the investment is to help advance the development in [Valora’s] categorization engine” to make it more product-focused, Jacobs added. Primarily a technology-enabled services company, “they kind of eat their own cooking if you will, and so we wanted to expand the product. We needed the product to be more market facing, and to streamline some of the processes to make sure it’s super effective for us to provide the services for our clients.”
In terms of DTI’s investment strategy, the company wants the technology to make the company “part of the day to day process of data management and compliance,” for clients, Jacobs said. He added that the company is “certainly looking” at other technologies but not discussing them at this time.
Valora’s “auto-classification” technology automates different tasks on the legal workflow, applicable to e-discovery, records management, litigation and information governance, for which it was chosen as a finalist for different categories at the annual InfoGovCon event in 2015 and 2016. Prior to the investment, the company was primarily “provisioning services on [its] technology core,” Valora CEO Sandra Serkes told LTN.
“What’s starting to happen is there’s more and more demand for the technology itself,” she said.
Among Valora’s services are document coding, review, intake and visualization; analytics; and hosting. DTI’s services include litigation support, court reporting, and managed services.
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