A Foundry For Builders Company Raises 1.8M in seed funding
In a world where artificial intelligence and data are changing everything about how anything and everything is done - Hence Technologies emerges as a player trying to attack the messy world of finding legal representation.
Hence technologies "empowers corporate legal teams through precision matching driven by data and AI." They have a three step process to match companies with the right legal representation they are looking for using AI:
Match - Precisely match to the lawyers most likely to create value for you.
Evaluate - Evaluate your relationships by value created and alignment with your company values.
Negotiate - Use deep insights about your relationships to get more value at lower cost from your providers.
The goal of Hence is to essentially create a recommendation engine that uses various elements of data to come to a conclusion for clients on what legal representation would be the best for their needs.
Personally speaking, I can relate to this problem. If there was a machine I could use to just enter in my needs, ex: "startup lawyer, intellectual property, patents" and find a list of people that are ranked to best help my problem - then that saves me time and energy to find the right representation.
With the wrong representation, companies can just waste a lot of time and money when dealing with legal issues.
Foundry for Builders
In June 2021, Hence was chosen to be part of a Foundry for Builders cohort - which is Palantir's initiative of licensing their software to startups at their earliest stages, allowing them to build their entire technologies on top of foundry.
This process is part of their larger vision for Foundry to become this generation's AWS - when companies are building on top of Palantir, Palantir becomes the foundation to the success of these companies as they get bigger.
“Access to Palantir Foundry further accelerates Hence’s progress toward being the unparalleled solution for helping organizations take control of their external legal and consulting relationships. Just like building our technology in Rwanda gives us unique access to an untapped talent pool, Palantir Foundry gives us unique access to a world-class platform to underpin our cutting edge software” said Steve Heitkamp, Hence co-founder and Palantir alumnus.
“We’re excited to expand the use of Palantir Foundry to companies that wouldn’t normally have access to our platform. As a Palantir alumnus, Steve understands the value of our technology and will be able to utilize Palantir Foundry to its full potential to bolster Hence AI’s capabilities and growth,” said Palantir COO Shyam Sankar.
On March 18th, Hence announced they had just raised $1.8 million in seed funding from institutions and angel investors. Their total amount of funding is now $2.6 million.
Why Is This Important for Palantir?
Palantir is taking a gamble on the startups using foundry for builders - they don't expect those companies to become massive, but believe they have a chance.
As a result, they are willing to license foundry to them at a massive discount in order for them to build their companies with all the perks that come from using something like Palantir's foundry.
When companies within the foundry for builders cohort reach a level where they are raising institutional money - it signals that other investors are also willing to take a bet on these promising companies.
As more investors see the vision for these companies and the bigger they get, the more foundry becomes the central operating system for the growth of those startups - signaling to other startups that they too should try building their platforms on top of foundry.
Foundry for Builders is essentially strategetic marketing - but its leveraging the market opportunity that new startups are trying to capitalize on: data.
Hence is attacking the legal representation business using data and many other startups will attack other markets where the integration, analysis, and interpretation of data will be the moat.
Those startups should use foundry, and Palantir is trying to identify the best ones that have a shot of raising real money when they utilize the full scale of what foundry can do.