Legal tech firm Disco becomes latest Austin company to go public

Austin-based legal tech firm Disco became the youngest Austin company to go public on Wednesday, seeing its shares surge on its first day on Wall Street.

Disco shares debuted at $ 32 per share on the New York Stock Exchange and traded under the ticker “LAW”. The share price rose quickly, ending its first day of trading up $ 9.67, or 30.2%, to close at $ 41.67.

The legal tech company’s IPO saw the sale of 7 million shares at $ 32, with the underwriters of the offering given an option to purchase an additional 500,000 shares. With all options exercised, the IPO could be worth more than $ 240 million.

Austin-based legal tech company Disco became the newest company in central Texas to go public on Wednesday.

Disco creates an artificial intelligence-based platform to support law firms and corporate legal teams. CEO Kiwi Camara founded Disco in Houston in 2013 and relocated its headquarters to Austin in 2018.

Camara said Disco is working to position itself as the general counsel of tech companies when they need technology to improve and streamline their jobs.

“This is an eight year journey and where we are today is really testament to the amazing work the team has done,” said Camara.

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Disco CEO Kiwi Camara speaks to employees in the company's Austin offices in this 2019 file photo.  Disco made its Wall Street debut on Wednesday.

The company revised its expected share prices twice before opening. Last week, the company estimated the price would be between $ 26 and $ 29 per share, and earlier this week the company estimated it would be between $ 30 and $ 31.

Disco’s flagship electronic investigation software helps attorneys gather evidence without the use of third-party technology or services. It also has software to help with case management, compliance, legal document review, disputes, investigations and data collection, all of which are geared towards legal teams and government agencies.

Camara said Disco’s technology is designed to help lawyers focus on higher priority tasks by automating the parts of their practices that don’t require human judicial judgment. The rationalization of these tasks is becoming more and more important.

“We see our mission in deploying technologies that strengthen the rule of law,” he said. “For the past eight years we have exchanged solutions that will help lawyers uncover the truth on some of the most important legal matters in the world.”

At the end of March, the company had 336 full-time employees and more than 900 customers, according to the company’s securities records.

Camara said that disco is just beginning to grow. Disco has been on the hiring path since the beginning of the year and will continue to invest in growing its staff, he said. The company continues to introduce new products and expand its technology.

“I think legal is really at the beginning of that S-curve of change where technology is helping lawyers do their jobs radically,” said Camara. “We think as a stock corporation. We are an even better partner to our clients who are the general counsel of some of the largest companies in every industry around the world. ”

Camara said the company’s Austin headquarters will continue to add talent as the city’s tech scene continues its own growth.

“I think everyone understands that Austin is a center of technological innovation in the US when you not only look at disco but have so many great ideas coming from Austin,” said Camara. I’m delighted that disco is one Can play a role in growing Austin’s tech scene. ”

The company’s security filings also showed that Disco’s revenues have increased. In 2019, Disco had sales of $ 48.6 million and a net loss of $ 29.8 million. In 2020, sales grew to $ 68.4 million with a net loss of $ 22.9 million. For the first few months of 2021, the company had sales of $ 21.1 million with a net loss of $ 11.2 million, compared with $ 15.7 million with a net loss of $ 2.9 million Dollars in the same period last year.

Prior to going public, the company raised $ 161 million, including a $ 60 million round it raised last year. Investors hold a significant stake in the company, as security filings show. Bessemer Venture Partners owns 26.4%, Austin-based LiveOak Ventures 19.2% and Geogrian Partners 12% of the company.

Disco joins a number of Austin companies that have gone public in recent years, including Bumble, which went public in February and raised $ 2.5 billion, the largest public offering in Austin’s history .

Earlier this week, fitness franchise F45 Training, which recently relocated its headquarters to Austin, completed its IPO after raising $ 25 million after selling 1.562 million shares at $ 16 per share .

CEO Kiwi Camara founded legal technology company Disco in 2013 to automate tasks for legal teams.  The company went public on Wednesday as the youngest Austin-based company to go public

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