How we streamlined our pre-seed round legal operations

jun. 24, 2020

For those of you who are founders or lawyers, you know that managing all legal stuff at pre-seed rounds can become a nightmare if you have many angel investors in your captable, for example, when approving a share capital increase.

I worked as a lawyer for many years. I know that gathering all the personal information from the investors is a tedious task, and where you will spend most of your time. Please don't deny it.

As a founder, that is where your expenses on legal fees can tend to infinite.

That's why we built Parallel. To help professionals regain their time, automating emails to collect and organize information.

If you want to see Parallel for yourself, you can request your invitation here:

When my co-founders and I decided that our pre-seed investment round should only include great angel investors that could give us value, it implied that we would have many people in our captable. We didn't expect that a few business angels could cover the whole round.

It also meant that I had to manage to collect our business angels personal information. I had to get the personal information from almost 30 investors. And after that, type all the details in a Word, but that's another story.

It was the best occasion to test our product and see the results. And I can only say that the results were impressive:

  • As a lawyer, I think that Parallel is incredible. It helped me reduce my stress and the tedious work of chasing the investors.
  • As a founder, I managed to contain our legal fees very low. We (me and Parallel) did the heavy work, collecting the information from our investors.

Let me explain to you how our process evolved together with our product.

Manual work with our first investors

At the beginning of the fund-raising process, we had only an MVP of Parallel, and it didn't even include the possibility of requesting text information. I wasn't proud to use it with my investors, so I decided to do it manually, as I would have done as a traditional lawyer.

I wrote down the steps the investors had to follow on an email, including a list with the information I needed, and the instructions for wiring the funds with an Excel with the amounts.

Part of the email (in Spanish) sent to our investors
Part of the email sent to our investors

It wasn't enjoyable. I had to control who sent me the information, what did the investors send me, and write to them again if the information was incomplete.

I received feedback from an investor telling me that it would have been nicer to send them an Excel with the instructions where they could complete their data and resend it to me. The email was too long (I previewed a printed version, it was two pages long), and some investors even ignored it.

Adding the spreadsheet

For the next batch, I listened to that investor and included the instructions in a spreadsheet. The email was much shorter, but some of the responses were still incomplete.

The Excel file with the field to fill in their personal information
The Excel file with the field to fill in their personal information

At least other investors wired the funds, but they still didn't complete the information we needed. I realized that the experience was not good for them.

The problem was that they needed something straightforward, where anything requested should be clear, and without leaving them the space to think about what they should do.

Something I also realized (as a lawyer) is that I was not particularly eager to save all the information in my drive manually. It took me a lot of time.

We gathered all these inputs, and while building our product, we took them into account to avoid the same could happen with Parallel.

Working with the new Parallel

After a while, we launched the new version of Parallel, which included the feedback from our process. It was the perfect timing to test our product with the batch of investors that were closing the round.

Since we took the user experience from both sides of our product very seriously, I wanted to test at least if I, as I lawyer, was benefiting from using the platform.

I created the list of legal documents and other information I needed from our investors and started sending it (I was nervous at that moment, our investors would judge our product from the other side).

Luckily, we recently included a feature to clone the petitions, so that we could reuse the list of documents. This helped me avoid create again and again the list of documents, it was a real time saver.

A couple of days after, I received more than 90% of the information we needed. I couldn't believe it.

That's when I realized that we built something that would change lawyers life. They could forget about one of the most tedious parts of the job, getting the information from their clients.

I believe associates can now focus on analyzing cases or drafting legal documents, where the fun part of the work is (for non-lawyers, yes, it is, they are intellectually more rewarding).

The results

Since Parallel controls all the information that I asked to my investors, I felt relieved of not having to do the follow-up. The automation of the follow-up emails did the work for me.

There were no emails back and forth. It was transparent for our investors what was missing, and it was easy for them to submit the information from Parallel.

We even received a lot of encouraging messages since the user experience for them was the best they've experienced. They wanted their lawyers to use it.

Everything they had to submit and the overall progress was evident.
Everything they had to submit and the overall progress was evident.

After that, it was easy for me to manage the legal stuff pending. No documents were missing, and I had everything organized. I could find what I needed quickly.

For us, as a startup, we reached a good agreement with our lawyers, since we did the heavy work.

Automating document collection is essential for knowledge professionals so that they can focus on added value tasks. What do you think? Would you like to try Parallel?

If you want to see Parallel for yourself, you can request your invitation here:

Feel free to use it and leave us your feedback.


Derek Lou

CEO & cofounder at Parallel. He loves tech and coding. He worked before as a legaltech consultant, legaltech project manager, and tax lawyer at Cuatrecasas.

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