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No Kira in latest Fuse cohort as A&O announces new start-ups set to join incubator

Leading AI platform Kira Systems will not feature in the latest cohort of tech companies in Allen & Overy (A&O)’s  Fuse incubator, making room for more nascent start-ups to enter the Magic Circle firm’s tech space.

In September of last year Kira secured $50m in private equity backing in what was a benchmark for the legal tech sector, while Kira enjoyed year-on-year revenue growth of more than 100% for 2017. Meanwhile Bloomsbury AI, which was purchased for $23m by Facebook in July of last year, has also left Fuse.

However the departures made space for new entrants. Apiax, Define, HighQ and Scissero will all join the programme, alongside Fuse veterans Avvoka, Legatics and Nivaura. Scissero is an AI platform that aims to automate the drafting of legal agreements, while HighQ operates as a project management platform and Apiax looks to turn financial regulations into machine-readable rules. Define looks to speed up the legal drafting process for lawyers.

Kira, meanwhile, counts Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and DLA Piper as clients, and is widely considered the leading machine-learning contract analysis start-up in the sector. The decision to leave Fuse undoubtedly signals an increasing maturity for the much-touted company.

Applicants opened for the third cohort of Fuse in January of this year, while the incubator occupies an increasingly competitive space, with Magic Circle counterpart Slaughter and May announcing its own incubator Collaborate last month.

Shruti Ajitsaria, head of Fuse, commented: ‘A large part of the success of Fuse relies on identifying cohort members which will have a good synergy with A&O lawyers and our clients. I believe we have found that with this new cohort.’