Lex Machina has closed a $2 million funding round led by X/Seed Capital. Besides X/Seed Capital, other participants in this round include Costanoa Venture Capital (recently founded by Greg Sands), Naval Ravikant, (founder of Angel List), Jeff Hammerbacher (founder and chief scientist, Cloudera), Eric Goldman (Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law and Director, High Tech Law Institute), Jean Kovacs (president, Northern California, Harvard Business School Alumni Angels), and David Chao (Co-Founder and general partner, DCM).
Lex Machina provides intellectual property (IP) litigation data and predictive analytics to companies, law firms, consultants and public interest users. Lex Machina focuses on big data in the legal realm via its natural language processing technology, which was developed at Stanford University. The funding will be used to expand its products and team, says the company. Lex Machina has also begun to leverage its data to help companies evaluate their patent portfolios.
Lex Machina’s prior investors include Ulu Ventures, Dan Cooperman (Of counsel, Bingham McCutchen and former Apple and Oracle General Counsel), Joe Lonsdale (co-Founder, Palantir Technologies), and Jerry Yang, Co-Founder, Yahoo.
In 2009, Lex Machina spun out of a Stanford University Law School and Computer Science Department project called the IP Litigation Clearinghouse (IPLC). Founded by Law Professor Mark Lemley in 2006, and launched with co-founders Joshua Walker and George Gregory, the IPLC mapped every electronically available patent litigation event and outcome. Donors provided over $3.5 million to fund the project.
Every day, Lex Machina’s crawler extracts data and documents from PACER, all 94 District Court sites, ITC’s EDIS site and the PTO site. The crawler automatically captures every docket event and downloads key District Court case documents and every ITC document. It converts the documents by optical character recognition (OCR) to searchable text and stores each one as a PDF file.