Eight tech start-ups set to join Allen & Overy’s hipster-esque ‘Fuse’ innovation hub

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By Thomas Connelly on

Well-known AI system and asylum advice app among successful applicants

Magic circle titan Allen & Overy has revealed the identities of the eight tech business joining its in-house innovation hub next month.

The new ‘Fuse’ incubator, located within the firm’s plush London HQ and just a stone’s throw from the hipster-filled coffee houses of Shoreditch, can accommodate around 60 entrepreneurs.

We reported earlier this year how A&O was offering free space within its “specially-designed” hub to “early-stage” and “mature” tech companies. As well as roof over their heads, entrepreneurs get access to some of the firm’s top legal and business minds.

Several months on and over 80 applications analysed, A&O has named the first eight lucky businesses set to join Fuse this September.

The first company given the nod was Nivaura. This group of tech-heads are in the process of developing a “cloud based service” for administration and issue of financial instruments. Having been handed “entrepreneurs-in-residence” status by the magic circle outfit, Nivaura’s team members are now be responsible for helping guide Fuse’s other tenants to start-up success.

Another is iManage. Previously known as RAVN, this artificial intelligence (AI) system can undertake a number automated tasks, which, in theory, should lighten lawyers’ workloads. As an interesting aside, fellow magic circler Linklaters and City law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner have both struck deals with the robot law company recently.

Other winners include a contract creation tool called Avvoka, risk analysis system Corlytics, AI software Vable, litigation transcript programme Opus 2 International, and “paper and email” innovation system Legatics.

But not all of Fuse’s soon-to-be residents are profit driven. Charity enterprise Ithaca hopes to create a “mobile-responsive” system that will help asylum seekers gain access to pro-bono legal representation and advice.

Jonathan Brayne, chairman of Fuse at Allen & Overy, said:

The selection process has been an extremely interesting and rewarding experience. Now we’re just really looking forward to welcoming the companies into the space next month, introducing people from A&O and our clients’ businesses to it and, ultimately, helping shape what emerges from the Fuse environment.

News of Fuse’s first residents follows a similar project launched by Mishcon de Reya. In collaboration with London-based innovation investor L Marks, six start-ups joined the City outfit’s ‘MDR LAB’ innovation incubator earlier this summer.

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