Featured Startup Pitch: Corporize wants to disrupt ‘old fashioned’ online legal search with a focus on corporate law
Elevator Pitch: Corporize is a community network built for corporate lawyers, and is aiming to have the largest user-generated database of corporate and tax lawyers on the web, while offering guidance to those looking for any kind of information related to company formation or corporate law.
Corporize is a website, a tool and a platform for corporate lawyers and has two aspects:
1. Let’s say you want to form a company in Hong Kong and you start searching for lawyers who can set up your company properly. On Corporize, you easily connect and inquire at experts based in Hong-Kong.
2. On the other hand, our platform serves as a marketing tool for corporate lawyers—an online business card.
We have several new features in the making that would engage both parties (the lawyers and their target audience), so Corporize provides up-to-date content to educate you, and in the meantime finds you the most relevant law firm.
We believe the key to success lies in the focus, focusing on a special area of the jungle.
As one of the main characteristics of an entrepreneur, I like to believe I can change and make things better. This is where the idea was coming from. I was not satisfied with the law directory websites out there, so being a corporate lawyer myself, I wanted to create a better place—a better platform for the corporate law community, including myself.
With my founding partner Istvan (who is also my colleague at my law firm), we decided to disrupt a highly old-fashioned industry to create a community that provides sustainable and useful information about corporate law, offshore, and company formation practices, while offering a place to market yourself as a corporate lawyer.
We are currently focusing on implementing a wide range of marketing methods through different media channels, including a strong focus on web, SEO, blogs, forums, social media, and press releases. Different forms of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to name a few, provide excellent feedback regarding how people discover Corporize.com. We cannot forget that not all corporate lawyers are open to the new platforms, thus we also provide weekly newsletters to the lawyers in our network and to our global audience.
Aside from these techniques, we feel that more can always be done, so we strive for more attention and we are exploring further opportunities to reach a wider audience (SEM, guest blogging, law school groups).
Lawyers, doctors and other professionals were thought to be among the last groups to adopt new technologies. These are huge markets, where the audience is considered to be late adopters. But with the increased penetration of smartphones and tablets, these groups have become the latest targets of tech startups, including Corporize. We can say that these industries are on the brink of a major disruption.
The market of lawyers is the most untouched territory, even though there are a few entrepreneurs ushering the law into the 21st century—starting with Avvo (one of the first, with $23 million in funding), LegalReach (raised $900,000 in August, 2013), or wireLawyer. All of these businesses focus on referrals, connecting lawyers, marketing their services, and giving easy access to legal advice to people with legal problems. These startups (who can be called competitors) provide their services to all areas of the legal jungle—personal injury lawyers, divorce lawyers, immigration lawyers, etc. are all welcome to join to these platforms and social networks. This is where the opportunity lies; focus is the key to success in this very noisy environment.
Corporize focuses only on corporate lawyers, worldwide. There are 800,000 of them in the world who seek to find a new way of presenting their services and to generate leads, and communicate with possible clients.
How We Differentiate From the Competition
Our competitors (the above mentioned companies plus classic law directory sites like HG.org) are old-fashioned platforms and lack the ability to present the lawyers in an easy-to-understand way, not to mention the need of educating their audience.
Corporize takes a little piece of the whole pie and tries to be the best at that segment. We try to provide not only the most relevant results in a certain area of corporate law, but we provide better overall design and user experience on the website than our competitors.
Our business model is freemium—we offer a forever free and a premium plan to our users. Advanced features cover banner-free profile pages, publication submission, top position in searches, etc.
We launched our platform with a way too complicated pricing model; as time passed by, we gained experience and we boiled it down to the ‘classic’ freemium model.
Seed fund of $150,000 to $300,000, to continue our product development on a higher and more efficient level, enhance our sales and marketing strategy, and provide a better foundation for partnership exploration.
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Headquarters: New York
Year Founded: 2012