According to its website, “Amberlo takes care of your busy-day so you can focus on what matters most,” and the company is “on a mission to help law firms transform into high-performance digital organizations.” CEE Legal Matters spoke with Amberlo Co-Founder and CEO Aidas Kavaliauskas to learn more about how the company’s cloud-based case management software built for legal professionals does just that.
CEELM: Tell us a bit about Amberlo, its mission, and its products.
Aidas: Amberlo is an all-in-one cloud-based law practice management platform that automates business processes at law firms, from client acquisition to payment management. It was born with the mission to transform law firms into high-performance digital organizations. During the past few years, we have accomplished the transformation for hundreds of law firms.
CEELM: When was the company founded, who were its founders, and what was the source of inspiration in setting up the company?
Aidas: The Amberlo idea was born in 2015 between me and a few friends. We were involved with some legal projects and did not like the way they were organized. We thought that lawyers and their clients deserved better tools than Outlook and Excel. We checked the market and saw a gap. There was a lack of user-friendly and affordable law practice management software in the EU. The US had Clio, but it was not localized and did not support local billing and reporting requirements. Most European software providers either focused on top law firms or had quite basic products for small and medium-sized law firms. Cloud solutions were only starting to gain momentum, and we saw an opportunity. We used our 15+ years of experience in developing cloud solutions for top enterprises in Europe to create the legal software. Amberlo was launched in 2017.
CEELM: What did you find were the main reasons firms turned to Amberlo?
Aidas: At the very beginning, law firms were not rushing to use Amberlo. We had a dozen law firms who were participating in the pilot project. Then we started adding more law firms. During the pilot phase, which lasted another two years, we polished the product. We used all the feedback from our pilot customers and looked into the best of breed products from other business areas to create a seamless experience for lawyers. Law firms started using our solution at a certain point because it worked for them, not the other way around. Also, they saw other law firms using our software. And all of them stayed with us because, besides being easy to use, Amberlo created enormous value. Our clients were reporting a 20-30% increase in productivity after starting to use Amberlo.
CEELM: What were some of the main concerns from early adopters and how did you address them?
Aidas: Security, the business continuity of the company, value, and price were among top concerns from early adopters. Law firms were not sure if they could trust us, and if we could protect their data. Another concern was a value perception problem: lawyers were unsure if they needed Amberlo, if they could use it effectively, if their team members would accept it, and if the software was worth the price. But most of those who started are still with us. Over time, they all saw that (a) the software does the job, (b) we are still releasing new features every three weeks, and (c) we are still answering questions on the same day.
CEELM: What did year one look like? What were some of the main hurdles you had to overcome and what was the team’s first win?
Aidas: There is a joke about the difference between a German and an American startup: an American startup will have two sales guys, one marketing guy, and two engineers; the German startup will have five engineers. We were like a German startup. Instead of focusing on sales and marketing, we focused on product development and started seriously selling in 2020. The first big win came in the second year, when we on-boarded the first international law firm, successfully imported the historical data from the last 15 years, and launched in four countries.
CEELM: And how have the company and its products evolved since then?
Aidas: Today Amberlo is used by law firms from 23 countries. We have 19 team members in three countries, and Amberlo is among the most user-friendly legal software on the market.
CEELM: Are those 19 team members still all engineers?
Aidas: Half of our team members are engineers, and the other half do sales and marketing.
CEELM: Last year, Amberlo raised EUR 1 million from four venture capital funds and several private investors. What do you believe made the company particularly attractive to these investors?
Aidas: Investors trust the product, the team, and the market opportunity. Lawyers like Amberlo because it does the job well. It is one of the few legal platforms that offers Open API, which provides access to all platform functions and data for third party apps. Our own web and mobile applications use the same API ,making it very easy and reliable to integrate with. We have unprecedented development speed and state-of-the-art security. Our billing workflow and Microsoft365 integrations are some of the best on the market. The team made this possible. Before Amberlo, we, as a team, spent 15+ years delivering cloud-based solutions to top enterprises in Europe and around the world. This year we see law firms massively moving to the cloud, and we are here with all the experience, happy customers, and state-of-the-art technology.
CEELM: And what is the capital raised intended for? What can we expect from the company next?
Aidas: With the new investments, we will enter Spain, Germany, and France. Next, we plan to introduce AI tools to assist lawyers in 24 languages.