Following in the footsteps of other successful legal-tech startups to emerge out of Australia, Yegal is a marketplace for paralegals. The company which was founded by Michael Buggy back in 2016 has a network of more than 300 paralegals across Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, but how Yegal got started is an interesting story in and of itself.
Back in 2016 Michael was looking for a side hustle and started using his annual leave to “sell” paralegals to law firms within his immediate network. The concept caught on, so well in fact that one law firm partner passed Michael his credit card to make a purchase, only Michael “didn’t know what to do with it!”.
This experience though was enough for Michael to recognise that there was a business worth exploring here and he officially launched Yegal. In the 18 months since he has signed up fifteen clients/law firms and built a network of 300 paralegals.
Yegal operates like most marketplace based startups. Michael has developed a platform that will match a law firms requirements to a paralegal within their network. Yegal also puts all their paralegals through a rigorous screening process so that clients can have confidence in the quality of work they will receive. One client even went on to say: “We love logging on to Yegal whenever new instructions come in. We can supplement our permanent team with additional help quickly and easily. The parayegals are best in class!”
Reflecting on the journey so far Michael had some sound advice for other founders starting out, stating that “The best MVP is not built in front of a computer or written in code. It’s built by going to talk to people who have a problem that you are well placed to solve.”
It was however advice from another Aussie founder that has seen Michael steer clear of taking on external funds (at least for now). As Michael reflected on, last year he attended Startcon where he happened to get the chance to speak with Matt Barrie, the founder of Freelancer. It was Matt that told him to focus on bootstrapping and not take on external funding. It’s a lesson that Michael has held on to so far.
That hasn’t however stopped Yegals from continuing to develop as a platform. Michael highlighted how they are “reinvesting some of our profits into the development of a simple tool that will help us manage more paralegals and connect them with our clients quickly.”
Ultimately, the “vision is make Yegal the preferred resourcing tool of legal teams throughout Australia. We want our “parayegals” to get exposure to all areas of legal practice. In time we want these law students to become lawyers and stay part of our network. Our technology will give them freedom and flexibility that they don’t have now.”
With that in mind Michael is focused on continuing to grow Yegal and has an target of doubling revenue in the next six months.
This article is part of a new series at Startup Soda called “In The Trenches”, curated by Startup Soda Founder Paul Towers & Matt Trustrum through his work with Start Ups in the Start Up Hub.