LISTEN: InCloudCounsel’s Pospisil on private equity roots
In the first instalment of our mini podcast series, Alice Murray talks to Troy Pospisil, founder and CEO of InCloudCounsel about the company’s origins: what drove him to set up the firm and how it has developed over the past seven years.
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Excerpts from the interview:
How has InCloudCounsel’s offering developed over the past seven years?
“We have continued to work on leveraging data; there are lots of ways we create value by capturing data and tools to use that data. For example, when you receive a contract you can capture key data points; is there a standstill agreement? Do you need to notify other parts of the business? It’s about capturing that data and rounding it out to the wider organisation. Capturing all key legal terms agreed to is really important for making sure you’re managing liabilities to a counterparty in a sophisticated way.
“We then capture that data and benchmark against what has been agreed to historically by that customer to make the negotiation process more efficient. We also use that to support clients in refining what they’re asking for in contracts. For example, if you’re always asking for a certain term but rarely getting it agreed to, we present that and they can use that to make a different decision, which could save them time.
“We have a lot of different data tools, which create lots of value beyond marking up and creating contracts. We’ve invested in better workflow and machine learning to be more efficient and deliver more accurate processes. We now have a large ML team, there’s been a big investment there, and lots of interesting features are coming through that will benefit all attorneys and customers.”
How do you convince private equity to adopt software instead of hiring more people?
“There has been a trend towards outsourcing functions beyond your core capabilities. Companies should take time to look at their activity and find out how much energy and distraction is this taking, and how aligned it is with how we create value. For private equity, that value creation is sourcing deals, working with portfolio companies and taking them to a successful exit.
“Looking at something like payroll, companies have long outsourced that because it is recognised as a non-core function that doesn’t support value creation. As outsourcing providers emerged, these sorts of areas are being outsourced.
“Repetitive contracting is no different but people haven’t been presented with an effective outsourcing solution. So as we emerge it’s a no brainer for financial services to outsource this, and any function that’s a distraction, that takes time and energy away from their core function of creating value.”