“Arabnet Beirut helped us gain a lot of local traction and Arabnet Dubai helped us figure out our scaling plan and exposed us to the regional market.”
As one of the most dynamic, exciting and innovative places to practice law, the Middle East legal market is constantly moving and transforming. The region is a very unique and interesting market which requires specific market knowledge and solid relationships with managing partners to assist their growth and replacement in teams.
The Lebanese legal startup, Lexyom, aims to drive the market forward. Launched in 2016, Lexyom is an online platform that enables research and access to legal services. The startup establishes a connection between lawyers and users, provide a platform where users can find what they need in terms of legal help.
Most of the time, users find it very complicated to receive the right legal help and the right lawyer. This is where Lexyom comes in offering natural language processing, AI, Machine learning, and legal processes in order to provide the best fitted legal services according to what the user requires.
Co-founder Rami Alame brought Lexyom to life following his time as a lawyer in one of the major firms in New York. His time there opened his eyes to many complications when trying to explain to the public which legal service would be the best fit for them.
The traditional process takes so much time and is very expensive for the client. Law firms usually conduct several meetings to fully understand the client’s problem, charging them large amounts of money ($300 to $500 per hour), and sometimes the client would leave those meetings without fully understanding their problem. “This was the pinpoint we wanted to solve. I wanted people to fully understand what kind of legal services they are buying and provide an efficient platform to do so.” He concluded.
Throughout its journey, Lexyom faced many obstacles in the Lebanese ecosystem. They were not able to easily raise funds in the country due to the market’s rigidity. Fortunately for the startup, they were able to raise funds from San Francisco’s 500Startups. Lexyom has also struggled with finding talent in Lebanon considering that most youngsters are not willing to stay in the country.
Additionally, Rami expressed his concerns regarding Lebanon’s infrastructure, which has been hindering Lexyom’s growth. “There is a certain level of professionalism that is lacking in terms of implementing infrastructure especially the internet.” Rami commented.
Despite the challenges, Lexyom has been able to prove its importance in the market. The startup recently started its operations in Dubai with plans to expand to KSA. The short-term plan includes scaling to the MENA region depending on the evolution of the ecosystems. However, Lexyom are working hard to go beyond the region and scale in the USA. Both Rami and Co-founder Magda Christina Farhat have access to the market in the USA due to their previous experience in New York as they have built the credibility and eligibility to move there.
Commenting on Arabnet’s impact on his startup, Rami shared the following, “Arabnet is one of the most constructive experiences we had. We ranked 3rd in Arabnet Startup Battle Beirut 2018. We gained so much traction following our experience with Arabnet, received many sign-ups and requests.”
He added, “When we attended Arabnet Dubai for the Championship, it exposed us to the UAE market and we decided that we need to expand our business here. We saw a lot of startups and young people looking for an online legal services provider.”