For businesses, protecting trademarks is often a lengthy and expensive process, especially if they have multiple brands. Digip digitizes much of the process, allowing clients to file their trademarks themselves instead of going to law firms. The Stockholm-based legaltech startup announced today that it has added $1.3 million to its seed round, bringing its total to $3.4 million. The new funding was led by Industrifonden and Seed X, with participation from family offices and angel investors.
Founded in 2020, Digip now has 500 customers in 42 countries ranging from startups to large enterprises earning hundreds of dollars in revenue. Digip currently earns approximately $500,000 in annual recurring revenue and is expected to triple that amount in fiscal year 2022. In the past year, Digip has also expanded its IP service to the United States and other international markets.
Co-founder and CEO Viktor Johansson told australiabusinessblog.com that Digip was founded after the team saw entrepreneurs reluctant to use traditional law firms that bill by the hour. To file trademarks, companies usually ask an attorney to conduct trademark searches. They are billed per search, which adds up quickly if a company has multiple brands they need to trademark. Then they have to pay a lawyer to file trademark applications. But the process doesn’t stop there. Companies also have to monitor their trademarks in the markets where they own them, which is another charge.
Digip combines all these steps in one online workflow. Instead of charging for different parts of the process, its clients pay a flat monthly or annual subscription fee, plus application fees charged by trademark offices.
Businesses can use Digip to research trademarks and get free on-demand advice from the team. If they become a subscriber, they can use the Digip platform to manage their trademark applications in 180 countries. The platform makes this possible with a trademark repository of updated trademark data. Data collection and updating will be automated as Digip enters new markets.
It also trains AI/ML search algorithms in 100 languages and manages clients’ trademarks by reading and interpreting trademark data. As a result, onboarding can be automated and Digip’s process is scalable.
Johansson said Digip initially considered offering its service to law firms, but decided against it because they are slow to adopt legal tech. But Digip does have a worldwide network of lawyers that customers can turn to for support.
Johansson said Digip’s largest markets are the United Kingdom, the Scandinavian countries and the European Union, with more demand coming from the United States, Canada and Australia. Many of his clients are venture capital backed companies running digital businesses in industries such as SaaS, deep tech, direct to consumer, life science, metaverse, blockchain and fintech.
“The nice thing about trademarking is you pick up on early business trends,” said Johansson. “We have been involved in a number of interesting projects with emerging technologies that will come to market in the coming years. This is a really fun and exciting part of our setup.”
Johansson said Digip’s closest competition is still law firms, but lawyers are also considered close associates. “Because the digitalization of legal matters is slow, many companies are stuck in old hourly bills for trademark solutions,” he said. “Some law firms that rely heavily on trademark filings are our competitors, while other law firms that don’t do significant business through trademark filings see us as a great potential partner for them.”
Digip will launch several new features in the coming months. These include an open API that allows partners to integrate Digip’s technology into their workflows. Johansson said users will see a significantly improved trademark search on Digip.com. The company will also expand into new markets over the next 12 months.