DDLoop: Empowering legal minds through revolutionary LegalTech 

September 27, 2023
DDLoop Accelerator Startmate

Imagine this: It’s 11:45 p.m. and a dedicated lawyer finds themselves deep into their nth document as they conduct due diligence for their client. Having sifted through masses of information all day, and knowing what is at stake, they ask themselves: what if there was a better way?

Enter DDLoop: a legal data platform that empowers anyone to easily navigate government registers and automate legal due diligence processes like a pro. Who’s behind it? A dynamic duo of Jack Rathie, a lawyer, and Nico Kunz, a lawyer and mechanical engineer. 

Living the problem 

Jack and Nico worked together at King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), a leading international law firm. At such firms, due diligence for takeovers, mergers & acquisitions, financing or investments are routine. The process is often largely manual, relying on lawyers to wade through tons of documents and resources such as information extracted from government registers and contracts. 

“Nico and I did a lot of due diligence as lawyers. There’s lots of detail to cover in a short amount of time and you need to be sure you’ve got everything 100% right. On top of reviewing documents, you have to go to a bunch of different websites to find out a company’s details, trade mark holdings, financing arrangements, litigation history and property holdings.  This part was always really painful and we knew we could make it better”, Jack commented. 

At KWM, Jack and Nico were intrapreneurs. As lawyers in the legal innovation team, they built and tested software that would help lawyers maximise their efficiency. This is where they identified an unmet need for a tool that simplified due diligence for lawyers. 

Sharing more about their experience Jack said, “At KWM, we had the chance to get our hands dirty testing, building and breaking all the different LegalTech that was available to lawyers in the due diligence space. Tech that helps you review documents has been around for years, but there was a gap when it came to using the information on government registers about companies and people. This is where we spotted the opportunity for DDLoop.” 

“Jack and I were chatting about the future and what we could potentially do. It was one of those things where we realised that together we had the perfect blend of technical and legal expertise and we had a vision of how we could change the way the profession looks at legal data and due diligence. That’s when we went all-in earlier this year”, Nico shared. The first build for DDLoop started in early 2023.

Jack presenting to the UNSW Allens Hub for Technology, Law, and Innovation

Building a better way 

Working together on DDLoop gave Jack and Nico the opportunity to use their past expertise while solving a problem they care about and have personally experienced. 

“Due diligence is one of those tasks that’s super important, but fairly routine and entirely manual. It’s the brushing your teeth of the corporate world”, Jack said. 

What makes this task even harder is the fact that lawyers are limited by current legal technology options. Even in 2023, government register technology is antiquated. For due diligence, lawyers search many different registers and get back pages and pages of data. They then sift through this, line-by-line, to identify discrepancies and issues. If any information is updated on the other party’s side, the entire process needs to be repeated from scratch. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. DDLoop is a magnet that pulls the needles out for you, transforming the process so lawyers spend more time figuring out what to do with the needles, rather than looking for them. 

“What we’re doing is reducing that risk for the law firms while creating more time for lawyers to focus on legal issues. DDLoop also saves lawyers time by only highlighting items that have changed, allowing them to do more important and valuable work, and giving clients better outcomes” Nico explained.

DDLoop layers Nico and Jack’s legal expertise over the data from the searches. Explaining how this translates, Jack said “Not only are we presenting information in a clear, easy-to-understand format, but DDLoop also identifies common issues that we know lawyers are looking for and draws attention to them.” 

Since March, Jack and Nico have spoken to over 100 lawyers to help fine-tune their issue spotting algorithms and iterated DDLoop into a tool that is reliable, effective and secure. 

Finding the right partner 

Choosing your co-founder is one of the most important decisions in one’s entrepreneurial journey. However, past team-ups make the decision easier. 

At KWM, Jack and Nico had several opportunities to work together on projects. As colleagues on the innovation team, part of their role was to scope legal technology projects and build or buy them for lawyers. This laid the foundations for their future relationship as co-founders. 

Commenting on how they knew they were the right partners, Nico said “There were a lot of projects where it would just be Jack and I. Once you’ve worked with the same person for a year or two you start to identify your skills, your weaknesses, and how you can complement each other. We worked together really well inside of KWM so we pretty much went ‘Why wouldn’t we work well outside?”

The path ahead

The Startmate Accelerator program has helped Jack and Nico supercharge their development and growth. To first-time entrepreneurs who are fairly early in their journey, the Accelerator offers opportunities to connect with and learn from the best. 

“Our vision has been to make DDLoop a joy to use. The Accelerator is levelling us up fast and  we’re learning from the best Australia has to offer. They’ve pushed us to move faster and build something our customers really love” Jack said. 

Jack and Nico have embraced their transition from corporate to start-ups with unrestrained enthusiasm to solve a difficult problem and a growth-mindset approach to learning. 

As a lawyer, you’re trained to focus on and avoid risks. But as founders, we’ve had to re-wire those parts of our brain and the Startmate community has made that so much easier,“ Jack said. 

With pilot programs coming up shortly, Jack and Nico’s vision for DDLoop is that this could be a tool used on every corporate transaction and financing deal in Australia. Beyond that, they see possibilities for global expansion given the problems with government registers and due diligence are universal. 

“We’re really solving a problem that we deeply understand, for ourselves, and it’s a problem that other people want us to solve too”, Nico shared. 

PSA: Summer24 Accelerator applications are OPEN.

Apply here.

Give the author some love!

Like this article? You’ll like our Accelerator too!

Are you one of the region’s most ambitious founders? Are you ready to take your startup to the next level?

Apply for Winter24
Written by
Written by
Royina BakshiRoyina Bakshi

More Articles