Orbital Witness raises £7.5m in Series A funding
May 19, 2023
Breaking New Ground: Orbital Witness’ leadership on vision, future plans, & Series A funding
We’re thrilled to announce that Orbital Witness has just closed a £7.5m Series A funding round. The funding was led by PropTech venture firm Parker89, and joined by LocalGlobe, Outward VC, Seedcamp, Portfolio Ventures, and Realty Corporation.
At Orbital Witness, we are building the technology that will automate and replace the legacy paperwork-heavy ‘diligence’ process that is the source of endless hold-ups, unplanned costs, uncertainty and stress on property transactions.
Our platform has already made waves in the commercial real estate market, with over 2,500 lawyers and property professionals at clients including Mischon de Reya, Clifford Chance, Slaughter & May, Tesla and M&S saving more than 74 million minutes across 76,000 transactions.
With this new investment, we’ll now be expanding into the residential conveyancing market to help law firms and conveyancers, many of whom are still recovering from the effects of the turbulence of the last few years, tackle the challenges associated with delivering north of 1.4million property transactions a year.
After careful consultation with the industry, we’ve decided to start by applying our technology to assist conveyancing lawyers on leasehold property transactions. Leasehold accounts for approximately 25% of property in the UK and presents far more challenges for conveyancing firms to handle at scale. Tackling the hardest type of property transaction first may seem a little counterintuitive, but it resonated so completely with our values #EatThatFrog 🐸
“The complexities, risks, and demands associated with leasehold conveyancing have never been higher. The industry is struggling to keep up with new legislation and new lender requirements, both set against a backdrop of experienced conveyancers leaving the profession”, said Ed Boulle, our co-founder and CSO. “The automation we are introducing will help firms to boost their total capacity, prioritise urgent tasks across large caseloads, and provide their clients with visibility of potential problems at the start of the purchase process.”
Our technology replaces the need for lawyers to trawl through and check documents provided on a purchase or remortgage with an AI system which can automatically provide answers to the majority of standard conveyancing checks required on any leasehold property transaction, including those required by lenders, as soon as they open a file. The AI system has been carefully and meticulously trained by property lawyers and tested on thousands of leasehold properties.
We ‘wrap’ the product with insurance to make it easier for firms to make the transition to automation and transition risk away. In fact, we voluntarily match the level of cover that conveyancing lawyers are required to give their own clients.
“This funding round comes off the back of a year in which our company’s revenues doubled, and brings our total funding to £11.5m to date. We’ll use the investment to expand our 45-strong team, enhance our product offerings, and build key partnerships across the property market”, Will Pearce, our co-founder and CEO explained. “As part of this funding round we are particularly delighted to welcome Parker89 who represent First American Financial, one of the largest insurers in the business. We will continue to pioneer our unique approach to legal-grade automation backed by insurance.”
“At Parker89, we find and invest in the teams and technologies that will usher in the future business models and working practices of a real estate transaction. Orbital Witness’ vision of automated diligence - combining risk-spotting AI with insurance to enhance efficiency in real estate transactions - fits perfectly into our investment strategy and aligns with the expertise and assets we can offer. We are excited to partner with Will, Ed, and the Orbital Witness team.” said Paul Hurst, Managing Director at Parker89.
If you want to learn more about Orbital Witness and our recent funding round, check out our co-founder & CEO Will Pearce’s recent interview on Sky News with Ian King, and stay tuned for more updates from us.
If you are interested to know more please see our open roles and get in touch with us via our Careers Page.