Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
The 23-year-old Grad Who Created The World’s First ‘Robot Lawyer’
Lawyers all over the world should be scared of this technology
What started as a simple software program to appeal parking tickets ended up being an AI-driven legal service platform that could potentially disrupt the legal industry.
A negligent driver as a starting point
Josh Browder grew up in the suburbs of London. He started driving at the age of eighteen but quickly incurred thirty parking tickets while at high school. Noticing the formulaic nature of the process by which parking tickets can be appealed, he created a chatbot called DoNotPay that helped automatically challenge his parking fines. A blogger on Reddit picked up on the software and almost overnight, DoNotPay went from 10 to 50,000 users.
Since then, Josh moved to Stanford University in California where he shifted the focus on his app on the US market and expanded its scope.
A platform offering automated legal help
Josh’s app today deals with more than hundred consumer issues that span from customer service disputes like airline flight refunds, cancelling subscriptions to analysing statements and finding hidden fees. More recently, when 24 Hour Fitness announced its bankruptcy due to Covid-19, over 1,000 users sent cancellation requests through the DoNotPay app in just one day.
DoNotPay claims its number of subscribers is in the high five figures and that it has filed its millionth filed case in May 2020. The platform makes money by charging its users $3 per month.
According to its founder, DoNotPay has a target to narrow the justice gap between ordinary people who do not have the financial means to seek the services of lawyers and wealthy individuals or large corporations.
$12 million Series A funding
In 2017, Josh Browder at the age of 21 made the Forbes’ European 30 Under 30 law and policy list. The American Bar Association has honored its app with its Brown Award for its ‘commitment to increasing legal services to those of modest means’.
In June 2020, DoNotPay announced it closed a $12 million Series A funding round at an $80 million valuation. Coatue, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Felicis Ventures participated in the Series A. All had previously invested in the company’s $4.6 million seed round.