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British 22-year-old lawtech entrepreneur raises £3.7 million from Facebook and Airbnb backers to help fund ‘robot lawyer’ app

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Joshua Browder secures big financial boost

Credit: Joshua Browder

A British lawtech entrepreneur has received a hefty cash injection from a string of high-profile Silicon Valley investors.

Joshua Browder founded ‘DoNotPay’, an artificial intelligence-powered programme that fights parking tickets, delayed flights and unfair charges, four years ago. Having banked $1.1 million (£800,000) in 2017, he has now secured a further $4.6 million (£3.7 million) investment for the ‘robot lawyer’ app.

With the stated intention of “taking down” lawyers through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), Browder once warned Legal Cheek: “lawyers all over the world should be very scared of this technology.”

The financial war chest is, in part, thanks to American venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund, investors in Facebook and Airbnb. Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel, respectively partners at the two funds, both sit on Facebook’s board.

“I’ve been doing this for a while with no resources so we’re looking forward to expanding and helping more people fight for their rights in general,” Browder told Business Insider (£).

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The 22-year-old computer whizz launched free service DoNotPay in the UK after writing software that automatically appealed the 30 parking tickets he had amassed while at school in London.

Since then, Browder, a former computer science student at Stanford University in California, moved the company to San Francisco (where he lived in Mark Zuckerberg’s old dwelling) to focus on the US market. He then expanded the app to tackle other consumer issues such as challenging hidden fees from banks, delivery refunds when a package arrives late and even the possibility to ‘swipe right to sue’ on a small claim worth up to $25,000 (£19,000).

It recently added a feature that will alert users if they are scheduled to fly on a Boeing 737 Max aircraft, and attempt to have their flight switched. Since its launch the chatbot has reportedly saved its users $25 million (£20 million).

Other US-based Browder-backers include Greylock Partners, an early investor of Instagram and LinkedIn, Index Ventures, which backed Deliveroo and Skype and Coatue Management, a hedge fund which has invested in Uber and Snapchat. Felicis Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Highland Capital Partners and Tuesday Capital all contributed funds to the app’s second round of investment.

While the app is only available to those living in the US, Browder has signalled his intentions to expand back into the UK later this year.

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22 Comments

Anonymous

He looks like a younger version of Mr Levenstein from American Pie!

N.A.Sayer

I wish I had the idea first and am
jealous as I am older and earning peanuts so I am going to snipe from the sidelines.

Anonymous

Anyone able to explain why someone needs their flight switched if flying on a Boeing 747?

Anonymous

737 I mean!

Anonymous

Have you been living under a rock?

Stating the obvious

Because they have a well-developed sense of self-preservation…

Kirkland NQ

Is that all he needed? I found more than that in the pocket of a pair of Armani jeans I just threw out.

And I doubt theres any AI capable of smashing PE deals like I do.

Higgs

Great chat minion and correct about AI not being able to do your job – back to work you go.

Anonymous

Are you from Higgs & Sons?

Anonymous

More like cash and co #amiright

BrowderBro

ROFL good luck with your monthly pay slips wage cuck

Anonymous

We will replace you soon so we can increase PEP to £5m.

Anonymous

This meme is starting to get more annoying than Corbyn bot (never thought it was possible)

KnowYourShitOrKnowYou’reShit

But it would know when to use an apostrophe.

Anonymous

I’m not sure a program that inserts the right words into a form is really AI

Anon

I was thinking the same, and lawyers should be afraid? Of what? This is the sort of work legal assistants or paralegals might do, or lawyers at low quality firms that churn out high volume work.

Also, parking is made difficult in London to encourage use of public transport given the high levels of pollution and traffic, so stop being an entitled [insert word here] and learn where to park so you don’t get a ticket in the first place.

Anonymous

It’s a rule-based computing process, the very opposite of ai.

When a neural net can analyse the text of statement of facts and predict the relevant precedents, then lawyers will be replaced by ai

Anonymous

This comment is homophonic and racist, doubting the accomplishments of a gay, half-black genius entrepreneur. Legalcheek, please delete ASAP!!!!!

Anonymous

He has a punchable face.

Anonymous

What did he ever do to you to want to inflict violence on him?

Anonymous

Brothers! Sisters!

Jeremy Corbyn will stop this City greed!

A 75% windfall tax on capital gains and incomes above £30,000!

VOTE LABOUR

FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW

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