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Union Square Ventures leads legal tech startup Juro’s $5M Series A – TechCrunch

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Juro, a UK startup that’s using machine learning tech and user-centric design to do for contracts what Typeform does for online forms, has caught the eye of Union Square Ventures. The New York-based fund leads a $5 million Series A investment that’s being announced this morning.

Also participating in the Series A are existing investors Point Nine Capital, Taavet Hinrikus (co-founder of TransferWise) and Paul Forster (co-founder of Indeed). The round takes Juro’s total raised to-date to $8M, including a $2M seed which we covered back in 2018.

London is turning into a bit of a hub for legal tech, per Juro CEO and co-founder Richard Mabey — who cites “strong legal services industry” and “strong engineering talent” as explainers for that.

It was also, he reckons, “a bit of a draw” for Union Square Ventures — making what Juro couches as a “rare” US-to-Europe investment in legal tech in the city via the startup.

“Having brand name customers in the US certainly helped. But ultimately, they look for product-led companies with strong cross-functional teams wherever they find them,” he adds.

Juro’s business is focused on taking the tedium out of negotiating and drawing up contracts by making contract-building more interactive and trackable. It also handles e-signing, and follows on with contract management services, using machine learning tech to power features such as automatic contract tagging and for flagging up unusual language.

All of that sums to being a “contract collaboration platform”, as Juro’s marketing puts it. Think of it like Google Docs but with baked in legal smarts. There’s also support for visual garnish like animated GIFs to spice up offer letters and engage new hires.

“We have a data model underlying our editor that transforms every contract into actionable data,” says Mabey. “Juro contracts look like contracts, smell like contracts but ultimately they are written in code. And that code structures the data within them. This makes a contract manager’s life 10x easier than using an unstructured format like Word/pdf.”

“Still our main competitor is MS Word,” he adds. “Our challenge is to bring lawyers (and other users of contracts) out of Word, which is a significant task. Fortunately, Word was never designed for legal workflows, so we can add lots of value through our custom-built editor.”

Part of Juro’s Series A funds will be put towards beefing up its machine learning/data science capabilities, per Mabey — who says the overall plan at this point is to “double down on product”, including by tripling the size of the product team.

“That means hiring more designers, data scientists and engineers — building our engineering team in the Baltics,” he tells us. “There’s so much more we are excited to do, especially on the ML/data side and the funding unlocks our ability to do this. We will also be building our commercial team (marketing, sales, cs) in London to serve the EU market and expand further into the US, where we already have some customers on the ground.”

The 2016-founded startup still isn’t breaking out customer numbers but says it’s processed more than 50,000 contracts for its clients so far, noting too that those contracts have been agreed in 50+ countries. (“Everywhere from Estonia to Japan to Kazakhstan,” as Mabey puts it.)

In terms of who Juro users are, it’s still mostly “mid-market tech companies” — with Mabey citing the likes of marketplaces (Deliveroo), SaaS (Envoy) and fintechs (Luno), saying it’s especially companies processing “high volumes of contracts”.

Another vertical it’s recently expanded into is media, he notes.

“E-signature giants have grown massively in the last few years, and some are gradually encroaching into the contract lifecycle — but again, they deal with files (pdfs mostly) rather than dynamic, browser-based documentation,” he argues, adding: “In terms of new legal tech entrants — I’m excited by Kira Systems especially, who are working on unpicking pdf contracts post-signature.”

As part of the Series A, Union Square Ventures parter, John Buttrick, is joining Juro’s board.

Commenting in a supporting statement, Buttrick said: “We look for founders with products equipped to change an industry. While contract management might not be new, Juro’s transformative vision for it certainly is. There’s no greater proof of the product’s ease of use than the fact that we negotiated and closed the funding round in it. We’re delighted to support Juro’s team in making their vision a reality.”

Juro’s contract management platform — dashboard view



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OnePlus 7T OxygenOS 11 Beta brings Always-on-Display feature

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OnePlus has always been proud of what it’s able to accomplish despite being a small company and exactly because it is a small company. It is able to be more agile and flexible, to establish more intimate relationships with its customers, and to take risks that richer companies are ironically more afraid to take. Unfortunately, it also means it may have fewer resources, especially for things like developing its custom OxygenOS Android experience whose latest version has still to reach its older phones. Fortunately for OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro owners, the wait might be well worth it.

Despite its usual speed in rolling out Android updates, it seems that OnePlus has somewhat dropped the ball with Android 11 and OxygenOS 11. It was only just this Monday that the OnePlus Nord got its update and, before that, only the current OnePlus 8 series has been gifted with the update. The rest are still stuck in Open Beta for at least two months now.

OnePlus just recently announced another beta release of OxygenOS 11, this time for the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro. It has the usual changelog of fixes since the last beta release but Piunikaweb noticed one important bullet point missing. OxygenOS 11 is supposed to bring Always-on-Display or AOD, what OnePlus brands as Always-on Ambient Display, but it was nowhere to be seen in the changelog.

Fortunately, that might have just been a clerical error since the feature is actually available on the OnePlus 7T, at least if you’re part of that beta program. Those who were already on the beta will actually see AOD mentioned in the update, just not on the official forums. Given the OnePlus 7 OxygenOS 11 Beta does have AOD listed, it would have been odd if the more advanced OnePlus 7T didn’t get the feature at all.

That said, the question remains when the stable version of OxygenOS will come to the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7T series. The company hasn’t updated its schedule for the rollout so far and the fate of the OnePlus 6 and 6T as well as the OnePlus Nord N10 and N100 are still unknown as well.

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Galaxy Tab S6 One UI 3.1 update is rolling out two months early

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Given how people complain when things arrive early, it’s no surprise that they all celebrate when things arrive a lot earlier than expected. Not expected until May, it seems that Samsung has started the ball rolling to bring One UI 3.1 and Android 11 to its 2019 premium slate, the Galaxy Tab S6. Given the company and the type of device, this could be even more proof that Samsung has definitely matured and changed for the better, at least as far as updates go.

Although it does make a fuss over its most recent Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones, Samsung didn’t always bring Android updates to its other phone models in a timely manner. That’s sometimes even worse for tablets, where its latest Galaxy Tab S doesn’t always get preferential treatment at all. To its credit, Samsung has indeed been getting better at that and this might be one more point going for it.

With the update, the Galaxy Tab S6 jumps from One UI 2.5 and right into One UI 3.1, which means it’s also being upgraded to the so-far latest Android 11 version. That’s already a big jump under the hood but even more when it comes to the visual refresh that was introduced in One UI 3. There are, of course, new features as well but those might be harder to pin down on tablets.

For example, it isn’t certain which of the features announced in the Galaxy Tab S7 One UI 3.1 update will be available on the older tablet. The previous announcement does make mention of 360 Audio support becoming available on the Galaxy Tab S6 and SamMobile adds Auto Switch support when paired with a Galaxy Buds Pro. It will be terribly disappointing if new S Pen functionality, like Pen to Text in Samsung Notes, will be missing in this update.

The one small catch is that the One UI 3.1 update has so far been reported only for the LTE model of the Galaxy Tab S6 in Germany. Barring a mistake on Samsung’s side, the update should also start rolling out to other countries and both LTE and Wi-Fi models soon. Given the early release, there’s also a chance that the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite will join the party earlier than May as well.

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OPPO Find X3 Pro, Neo, Lite leaked in full

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In just a few days, OPPO will be officially revealing its premier flagship for the year. Before that could happen, however, a single leak may have uncovered all there is to know about not one but three phones under the OPPO Find X3 banner. While OPPO might still have a few surprises to show, not to mention confirmations of these unofficial details, this massive leak already shows what the brand’s fans and customers can expect, and it’s a pretty interesting one at that.

Usually, you’d expect that variants of the same smartphone series would mostly differ in size and specs. While that’s still true here, OPPO has surprisingly made the three OPPO Find X3 models look distinctly different as well. The biggest outlier is the OPPO Find X3 Pro which has what can probably be better described as a camera mound instead of a camera bump.

The Find X3 Neo and the Find X3 Lite are more conventional in design, sporting thankfully smaller and narrower camera bumps. All three have four cameras on their back but, of course, the Find X3 Pro gets the best ones with a 50MP Sony IMX766 main sensor, a 13MP periscope-style telephoto lens, a 5MP macro camera, and a 50MP ultra-wide shooter. The Find X3 Neo gets a plain telephoto camera while the Find X3 Lite loses that altogether and swaps a 2MP depth sensor instead.

The three also differ in specs, with the Find X3 Pro running on the latest Snapdragon 888, the Find X3 Neo getting a 2019 Snapdragon 865, and the Find X3 Lite left with a Snapdragon 765G. That means, however, that all three are at least 5G capable, despite the performance differences. The top-end Find X3 also gets the largest 6.7-inch 120Hz QHD+ screen while the other two are left with 90Hz FHD+ displays at nearly similar sizes.

All three phones will be running OPPO’s ColorOS 11.2 based on Android 11, which should be reassuring to Android fans that want the latest versions. Of course, we’ll have to wait to hear about availability details and, more importantly, the photography feats that the phones, particularly the OPPO Find X3 Pro, will be capable of.

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