Thomson Reuters keen to partner legaltech startups

  • TR Ignite provides startups with access to aggregated data to develop solutions
  • With a global footprint and large customer base, offers opportunities to scale up


Thomson Reuters keen to partner legaltech startups


“THOMSON Reuters has been serving legal and tax professionals for many decades. We are always looking for new ways to improve how we work and technology plays an integral part in that,” explained James Jarvis (pic, above), the vice president of global legal solutions at Thomson Reuters Legal Australia.

Until Aug 16, Thomson Reuters is inviting early stage startups in the legal and regulatory space across the Asia Pacific to apply to its recently launched technology investment programme, TR Ignite.

Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to pitch at TechLaw.Fest in Singapore on Sept 5 to 6, 2019 for a potential investment of US$250,000 (RM1.03 million) and a strategic collaboration with Thomson Reuters through its six- to twelve-month incubator programme.

“The idea behind TR Ignite is to extend the reach or the thinking around technology by collaborating with startups to bring new perspectives to the problem that technology can enhance,” Jarvis said.

Thomson Reuters is welcoming a range of solutions across artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, natural language processing, distributed ledger and data analytics.

The problem statements Thomson Reuters is looking to solve stretch across these areas of technology.

Jarvis provided some use case examples: “Some challenges of knowledge work revolve around finding data and material that is relevant to a particular legal issue,” he said, explaining that technology can be used to streamline search results for legal professionals.

For startups, one common challenge faced is the difficulty in aggregating market data. TR Ignite serves as a good opportunity for them to “access to information that Thomson Reuters already provides to legal and tax companies” enabling the startups to develop and validate ideas more effectively.


Thomson Reuters keen to partner legaltech startups


While Thomson Reuters declined to share the number of applications thus far, Jackie Rhodes (pic, above), the head of legal professionals, Asia and Emerging Markets, shared that the response “has exceeded expectations.”

Since legal and regulatory frameworks are localised by jurisdiction, these may cast challenges for startups to scale up across the globe. However, it is a pursuit Thomson Reuters’ believes it is poised to take on.

“One of the things we focus on is to develop technology that can be applied not just in one jurisdiction but have applications in different collections of information and provide solutions in the different markets that we operate,” said Jarvis.

Additionally, Rhodes believes startups can leverage upon Thomson Reuters’ global footprint and large customer network.

“Partnership is where the scaling up comes in. We bring scale, the startup brings the idea and technology.”

Those interested can access more information about the programme via the website.


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