We talked to founder Otto Hanson to learn more about TermScout in November 2019…
Tell us about your company. What problem are you trying to solve?
TermScout helps people and businesses understand the billions of contracts and privacy policies we agree to every year. We’re building a platform like Yelp or Healthgrades, but for contracts.
How did your company get started?
We started in 2018 at the Global Legal Hackathon. Two lawyers and four engineers spontaneously joined together to solve this one legal problem. We chose this problem because we believe that we shouldn’t have to agree to terms without having an easy way to quickly understand whether what we are agreeing to is okay. We called the project LexLucid then.
Why is your team well positioned to solve the problem you’re tackling?
We have a scrappy team in Denver comprised of three lawyers who are passionate about contract transparency, one software developer who can build just about anything, and a COO who was a cofounder of Healthgrades.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
I don’t know about our greatest lesson, but I’ll share the greatest lesson we’ve learned this week: sometimes companies you think of as competitors can be your partners. We opened a dialogue with a company that has great software capable of doing a lot of what we want to do (e.g., a potential competitor). We approached them, knowing it was risky, and they said (and I’m paraphrasing) “we want to partner with you – we could use a team like yours to help us expand in that market, and we can’t go after it ourselves (at least not now).” Oddly, we had similar conversations with a few other companies that offer contract lifecycle management services in the last week too. So, the lesson of the week is, go into new relationships with an open mind and a partnership mentality, because you won’t know unless you try.
What resources do you rely on to help your company grow?
We rely on a lot of great people and tools to help us grow. Investors who ask hard questions, mentors who dedicate time and network, an amazing team, a law firm that supports us with office space, the list goes on… As a fellow legal tech company and a corporate attorney, we rely on Shoobx for many of our legal docs (including our last financing), cap table management, and as our data room. We love the tool and can’t imagine life without it!