Justice delayed is justice denied is an oft-repeated saying whose origin goes back to the early 1800s. But what matters is that the saying still holds relevance, especially in India where nearly 4.5 crore cases are pending, as per data from the National Judicial Data Grid.
More importantly, many individuals and entities in India shy away from taking a legal recourse due to the costs involved as engaging a good lawyer can cost a significant amount of money.
A Kolkata-based start-up FightRight is trying to address some of the common problems faced by potential litigants by creating a platform powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) tools to assist lawyers and help litigants pursue legal matters.
Founded in 2020 by Nitin Jain and Vishal Mangal, FightRight is a technology-led venture that assists claimants at every stage of litigation – legal analytics, litigation funding, and litigation support services.
The start-up claims that its AI/ML-powered proprietary platform, aided by its research team, provides deep insights and solutions for evaluating the legitimacy of a claim and its strength in court, effective litigation strategies, and mapping litigation in terms of time and costs.
This is how it works
An individual can approach the start-up with the litigation details and if the matter passes the AI/ML-powered platform’s test then FightRight will provide the necessary funding to pursue the legal fight. The start-up will also help the litigant with a strategy based on its analytical tools.
Lawyers and law firms can also approach the start-up in case they feel strongly about a case, but the litigants lack the financial bandwidth to fight the case.
Meanwhile, FightRight makes money as it charges a pre-agreed share of the claim amount as it typically funds select commercial claims and arbitration disputes.
“We are currently financing approximately 50 high-potential litigation. This comes from a carefully curated pool of over 400 evaluated claims. Our active claims under management are valued at over 270 crores. We’ve served 500+ customers under our LaaS vertical,” says Jain.
Interestingly, FightRight -- and the overall litigation financing segment as such – has emerged as an alternative investment avenue as well as many high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) are ready to invest in the funds created by such start-ups.
“Our debut funding SPV, targeting a ₹100 crore claim, witnessed full subscription in less than 48 hours. This rapid response signifies market confidence in our approach and methodology. The increasing queries from HNIs emphasise a strong demand for similar investment vehicles in the future,” says Jain.
This heightened interest can be attributed to the impressive global track record of litigation funders, who command a success rate of over 90 per cent and present an enticing annualised IRR of more than 52 per cent, he adds.
In India, apart from FightRight, start-ups like LegalPay, LegalFund, and LitiCap, among others are operating in this segment. Globally, there are big names like Parabellum Capital, Bentham Capital, Juridica Investments, Burford Capital LLC, Woodsford Litigation Funding, Apex Litigation Finance, and Omni Bridgeway that have a proven impressive track record in terms of litigation funding.
FightRight, meanwhile, has raised funds totalling ₹2.25 crore through optionally convertible preference shares (OCPS) and currently has a run rate of ₹5 lakh a month.
The start-up’s journey started in Kolkata and it has already entered Bengaluru and is now eyeing New Delhi and Mumbai for upcoming expansions.
“We are on a strategic path to escalate our claim book to a remarkable ₹1,000 crore within the forthcoming 12-15 months,” says Jain.
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