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

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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

African Startups Admitted into the HiiL Justice Accelerator 2020/21

African Startups Admitted into the HiiL Justice Accelerator 2020/21

The HiiL Justice Accelerator scouts for and supports the best justice innovations in a region or country. The organization has supported over 110 startups worldwide since 2011. The support includes training, mentorship and a £10,000 non-equity grant, as well as opportunities for networking. This year, hundreds of startups applied during the accelerator’s call for applications and a number of them were admitted in the 2020/21 cohort of the accelerator program.

About the Startups…

From East Africa, meet…

  1. Exxus built Save; A digital platform that financially empowers Savings Groups sustainably through a comprehensive, adequate, open and user-friendly Saving Groups ledger handling.
  2. Kakuma Ventures creates a platform that enables Africa refugees to become entrepreneurs by building sustainable businesses that provide healthy food, clean water. Logistics services, healthcare, education, shelter, clothing and technology services. 
  3. Peleza specialises in background checks. They use official data sources (local and international) to screen candidates while complying with any privacy legislation in force.
  4. Utatuzi Centre connects forward-thinking companies with Alternative Dispute Resolution strategies to resolve any and all legal disputes occurring within the company. 

From South Africa, we have…

  1. Lenoma Legal specializes in commercial and labour matters for small and medium businesses. Making legal services affordable and accessible.
  2. Pop.Law makes ‘law for everyone’ by putting people first, followed closely with friendly and affordable legal help from exceptional lawyers. 
  3. Luma Law is an artificial intelligence chatbot that uses  machine learning and natural language processing in order to learn and communicate with its users breaking down barriers that limit their access to information about the protections of the law.

From West Africa, meet…

  1. Curacel is a claims automation and fraud detection platform for health insurance.  
  2. donate-ng is a platform that hosts verified crowdfunding campaigns for social causes.  
  3. Mamamoni is a peer to peer lending platform for women entrepreneurs in rural and urban slums. 
  4. Stand to End Rape Initiative advocates against sexual violence and supports survivors of sexual violence with pro bono legal and psychosocial services
  5. Transgov collects, analyzes, archives, and disseminates user-friendly data on the state of development projects and service delivery in Ghana.
  6. iVerify provides identity verification services for individuals and corporates. 
Congratulations to all the startups admitted into the accelerator.

The startups will participate in the 4-month Hill Justice Accelerator Academy which started on November 4 and will receive £10,000 in non-equity funding. They also get to pitch at the Innovating Justice Forum happening from 8 to 10 of February 2021.

Is your organization developing sustainable, scalable solutions to pressing justice needs? Are you creating access to justice, reducing inequality and unfairness? Then be on the lookout for the next Call for Applications of the Innovating Justice Challenge of the HiiL Justice Accelerator.

PROTECTING YOUR TRADE SECRET: HOW AND WHY

Many companies owe their commercial success to their unique trade secrets; whether it’s the Coca-Cola secret recipe or the KFC’s eleven secret herbs and spices, or even a proprietary method for making a certain part or product in a certain kind of way. Protecting a trade secret and keeping it out of the wrong hands(within the company) or competition can be vital to the continued success of the business.

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