Afriwise raises £1 million to accelerate its expansion into new countries and enhance technology

Image Source : velocityglobal.com

Afriwise, an online platform in Africa that provides instant answers to legal and business questions, has secured a €1m investment from a pair of angel investors. Afriwise was created by Africans for Africans, and is extremely useful for anyone doing business in Africa.

Three years after being founded (end of 2018), Afriwise welcomes new investors to its shareholding, with Jacques Emsens and Christophe de Limburg Stirum joining the company’s board of directors, where they are welcomed by early investors Bart Sobry (Zoutman/Potrell) and Mathias Vandaele (Hectaar). The company announced that it has raised a €1 million investment from the Belgian investors. This is promising, as we don’t hear nearly enough about legal tech investments in Africa.

Afriwise is a subscription-based online legal know-how service founded by Steven De Backer, a former South African lawyer now based in Belgium. It offers up-to-date legal knowledge about African markets in real-time, thanks to a collaborative model with top local firms and proprietary, cutting-edge technology. The company has been recognized as the most authoritative and robust online legal-information solution across Africa, offering access to domestic legislation and bills, legal reporting, in-depth practical advice and legal-sourcing solutions, all from a single, centralised platform. Bolloré, Deloitte, Barloworld, Vodafone, Roche, General Electric, DHL, and MTN among others, have all implemented this ground-breaking solution.

Afriwise believes that by partnering with and completely incorporating the African legal sector into its platform, it is contributing to the advancement of the SDGs in the legal and justice space. Indeed, the company collaborates with over 100 law firms across Africa to provide the platform’s in-depth practical legal guidance, making it the biggest joint project ever unveiled in the African professional services sector. 

According to De Backer, the new funding will be used to provide users with more relevant content, accelerate expansion into new countries, and enhance the platform’s technology.

 Apart from Afriwise, other legal research platforms based in Africa include : Legal Doctrine, Judy, LawPavilion, JurisAfrica, etc.

The HiiL Justice Innovation Challenge 2021

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law is a non-profit organization committed to making justice more available, understandable, and effective. Hiil’s vision is that by 2030, 150 million people will be able to avoid or address their most urgent justice issues, due to increased creativity and scaling what works best.

HiiL’s annual global Justice accelerator innovates and scales innovative services that can prevent or address justice challenges for all to help fill the Justice Gap and strengthen the justice system.


The HiiL Justice Accelerator, each year funds, trains, and coaches a global cohort of justice startups. In Africa, applications are welcome from East Africa, South Africa and West Africa. The Accelerator program is a four-month program that provides justice entrepreneurs with non-equity seed funding of €10,000, full preparation, coaching sessions, mentorship, and a chance to earn up to €20.000 at the Innovating Justice Forum’s pitch event, global exposure, and many more benefits.

How to register for this year’s challenge:
Between March 15 and April 30, 2021, justice entrepreneurs can apply for the Innovating Justice Challenge 2021. Startups that are admitted into the program receive €10,000 in non-equity seed capital, as well as the opportunity to pitch to an international jury and bid for additional cash prizes at the annual Innovating Justice Forum: €20,000 (1st place), €10,000 (2nd place), and €5,000 (3rd place).

Some of the startups from Africa Hiil has supported:
TransGov (Ghana), Stand to End Rape (Nigeria), MamaMoni (Nigeria), African Legal Factory (Morocco), Legal4ASM (Zimbabwe), Lenoma Legal (South Africa), Luma Law (South Africa), Kaoun (Tunisia), Peleza (Kenya) and so many more.

NextCounsel and its new all-in-one central management solution for law firms

NextCounsel is the most complete practice management solution for lawyers and law firms in the world. By offering a solution for CRM, case management, automated time and billing, document management system, human resources, and accounting, this product helps to minimize overhead and operation costs while still increasing sales.

The nextPLOS solution is a central management tool that manages the legal department’s internal processes which involves lawsuits, workflow tasks, meetings, and agreements. The NextPLOS solution makes it easy to coordinate, monitor, and handle all ongoing and completed legal activities in an organization. It is appropriate for any business that has a legal department, such as insurance companies, financial institutions, telecommunication organizations, etc.

How does nextPLOS work?
The nextPLOS has three main components to ensure the legal team’s effectiveness and productivity:

The Case Manager assists in keeping track of all case data. It strengthens team coordination, document organization, and deadline management. It allows the legal department to operate remotely while coordinating correspondence and enabling the retrieval of records.

The Agreement Manager maintains track of an agreement’s lifecycle. This application helps you to initiate, request, draft, and authorize initiated agreements, since most agreements come from the legal department. It also contains seamless templates to help the legal unit draft agreements easily.

The Meetings Manager recognizes a meeting’s agenda, manages schedules, conducts surveys, keeps track of attendance, and distributes the agenda to all attendees. It helps with collaboration, knowledge synchronization, and real-time alerts. With features like polling, agendas, and more, it makes taking notes and engaging in remote meetings simpler. Last, the meeting manager provides an environment of paperless meetings.

The solution has the following benefits:

  • The calendaring method assists your company in keeping track of deadlines and events.
  • Improves corporate governance by allowing all layers of management to work together.
  • Streamline meeting procedures and align management goals.
  • It enhances the standardization of the agreement process.
  • A workflow matrix to drive periodic events, among others.

To get a demo or make an enquiry, send a mail to hello@nextcounsel.com

The Workchop Conversations with Ridwan Sharomi

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the legal tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

This week, we have Ridwan Sharomi, an experienced LegalTech Writer who works closely with legaltech companies, providing SEO-friendly ghostwriting services such as blog post article writing, case study & customer success story, instructional guides, scripts, marketing and copywriting materials, amongst others.

Can we meet you and tell us what you do as a LegalTech Writer.

I am a law graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University, but it’d interest you to know that I am a techie at the core. Tech amuses me so much that I fondly recall days when I broke my android phone while trying to get custom ROMs installed on there. I paid a technician twice to resurrect that Tecno phone before I eventually got the hang of the installation process. Lol

Fast forward to 4 months ago, I stumbled upon LegalTech writing through my mentor, Faith Obafemi. Since the concept merges my tech interest with my educational background, I delved into it and have never looked back.

As a LegalTech writer, I help legaltech companies curate compelling thought-leadership content useful for marketing their solutions to their targeted market, as well as instructional materials for using those products. From customer success stories to blog posts, help documentations and eBooks, scripts, webpage, and email copy, the scope of what I do in LegalTech Content Marketing is broad.

Could you give us a peep into your everyday life?

With remote working growing to become the prevalent working arrangement in this period, you can say that my everyday life is pretty routine. I wake up, go to the mosque, freshen up, and settle at my workspace, where I pick up from the previous day’s work.

My Monday-Friday is mostly dedicated to discharging my responsibilities as a full-time in-house content writer in Lawcus, a budding Legal Practice Management solution headquartered in the US but used by lawyers across various continents.

Weekends are a bit flexible as I have the whole of the two days to myself. So, sometimes I try some light workouts, do some light content creation work outside of my 9-5, go out with a friend, watch as many tech videos as I can, and several other recreational activities.

What apps, gadgets, or tools have you been relying on to work from home, and how do you use them?

I’d start with my newest gadget which has tremendously increased my productivity level – my 10-inch Huawei tablet that serves as a second display. I also rely on my Lenovo ThinkPad PC and Infinix phone to track time for my 9-5 and stay updated, respectively.

Talking of apps, Zoom is top on the list as it enhances virtual collaborations, meetings, and all. Slack has also recently become one of my daily drivers for text-only collaboration and work conversations.

I once had a challenge with activating MS-Office on PC, so I switched to Google Docs in the meantime. It turns out that was a blessing in disguise as I came to love the simplified interface and efficient version control. It’s become my go-to for document management.

What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?

At the moment, I’m reading, watching, and listening to resources available for members of the Freelance Writers Den founded by an accomplished freelance writer, Carol Tice. I’m trying to figure out how to scale to the next level in my legaltech writing career trajectory. 

I also intermittently read Zikoko’s Naira Life, a series on some Nigerians’ jaw-breaking income (millennials, mostly). And not to forget, one of my fav’s is the I Said What I Said podcast hosted by the duo of FK Abudu and Jola Ayeye. Go listen to Canada in Jesus Name episode and thank me later.

Who would you like to answer these questions?

Two names come to mind – Keyukemi Ubi, and Mary Imasuen.

The Workchop Conversations with Damilola Ajiboye : Product Manager at DIYlaw Nigeria

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the legal tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

This week, we have Damilola Ajiboye, Product Manager at DIYlaw. Damilola is an avid learner and a technology enthusiast. In the past, he had tried his hands on different things like Digital Marketing, Web design, and development, and fashion blogging. Currently, he finds himself always excited about using technology to solve user’s pain points hence his passion for product management. At DIYlaw, he manages the company’s products by working with customers and team members to improve on already existing product offerings and introduce new products that address user’s vulnerabilities.

Tell us, what’s your typical workday like?

I start the day by checking emails (To see if I’m not serving as a bottleneck to any process) and attend to them as a matter of priority, I then check the product backlog and track progress, Monitor key metrics, NPS, and compare with same weekday of the previous week, I check the product roadmap to see if there are initiatives/timelines that need adjustment, wrap up the day by reading Industry news from Google Alerts.

Tell us about the products/services you manage at DIYlaw.

I manage DIY Registrations, DIY Documents, DIY Engage, DIY Resources, and some products in the pipeline.

What apps, gadgets or tools have you been relying on to work and how do you use them?

The apps I use are Slack for Communication, GSuite for Team Collaboration, Jira for Project Management and Roadmapping, Figma for Design and Prototyping, Google Analytics for Data Analytics, and Delighted for Net Promoter Score. 

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?

I listen to NPR’s How I Built This Podcast by Guy Raz. It’s a podcast on how entrepreneurs (startup founders) painstakingly built their businesses from the ground up. It’s an amazing show. 

Who would you like to answer these questions?

I nominate Oluwatosin Amusan.