TrademarkNow, the automated trademark search and risk analysis company, has closed an A round worth $3.5 million led by Balderton Capital. TrademarkNow is used by companies to assess the risk of confusion of new names or brands with existing trademarks and to determine the likelihood of successful trademark applications.
Traditionally, trademark searches have involved a multi-stage series of manual checks and risk assessments that can take several days to complete and need to be carried out by qualified legal professionals and paralegals. Using TrademarkNow's technology, this procedure is completed within seconds and can be actioned by individuals with little or no legal expertise, saving time and money at the earliest stage of a brand's naming process.
Since the company's official launch in March 2013, over 5,000 unique trademarks have been cleared by TrademarkNow customers, including brand agencies. Using the company's fast and highly efficient technology that produces intuitive and user-friendly search reports, these clients have saved themselves up to 10,000 working hours collectively and more than $3 million in unnecessary operational costs.
According to TrademarkNow research, at least $1.5 billion is wasted every year by companies using outmoded trademark checking systems. The market opportunity for TrademarkNow is vast with the search, tracking and protection elements of the trademark industry estimated to be worth more than $3 billion.
TrademarkNow customers pay annual subscriptions for unlimited searches, a system that is considerably more cost effective than the pay-per-search pricing structures charged historically.
TrademarkNow employs nine staff and is headquartered in Helsinki. The new investment round will be used to build the team as well as to strengthen the company's presence globally with an emphasis on building registry coverage. Currently, TrademarkNow searches 16 trademark registries across the world including the US, the European Union and most northern and western European countries. By the end of 2014, TrademarkNow will cover the registries in all European Union member states as well as up to 10 further major territories.
Mikael Kolehmainen, CEO of TrademarkNow, commented: As a former trademark lawyer, I know that just finding out if two brand names clash like-for-like isn't enough and that's why my team and I are developing technology that measures and mitigates the risk of confusion between similar sounding trademarks in the same regions or industries.
To have Balderton join our roster of investors is a tremendous validation of the technology we are creating and recognition of the opportunity we have to fill a hugely outmoded market.
Daniel Waterhouse, a partner at Balderton Capital, added: The trademark industry has been ripe for reinvention for many years, having failed to keep up with the technological change and innovation that we are seeing across the rest of the enterprise software market.
Mikael and his team at TrademarkNow are hitting some impressive customer acquisition and registry coverage targets, despite being only one year old, because they have developed a solution that responds exactly to the demands of the industry to which it caters. This team has a great future ahead and I'm looking forward to working closely with them to own this market.
TrademarkNow was launched in March 2013 in Helsinki, Finland and is led by Mikael Kolehmainen, a former trademark lawyer.
The company provides businesses with a comprehensive web-based system for intelligent trademark management. At its core is a unique artificial intelligence model of trademark law based on both explicit and intricate domain models of the law. Created by experts in trademark law and linguistics, TrademarkNow's system utilizes state-of-the-art machine-learning techniques to produce models that seamlessly take real-world complexities into account.
About Balderton Capital
Balderton Capital is one of the largest venture capital firms in Europe, committed to finding and helping talented entrepreneurs build great companies. Based in London, the firm manages $2.2 billion.
Since 2000, Balderton has invested in over 100 companies, principally across Europe. Notable realised investments include NaturalMotion (the mobile gaming developer, sold to Zynga in 2014), Betfair (the online betting exchange, 2010 IPO), LOVEFiLM (the home entertainment subscription service, sold to Amazon in 2011), MySQL (the open-source database software, sold to Sun Microsystems in 2008) and YOOX Group (the online retailer of leading fashion brands, IPO in 2009). The current portfolio includes innovative companies such as 3D Hubs, Globoforce, Kobalt, Openet, Scytl, Talend, The Hut Group, Tictail, Wonga, Wooga and WorldStores.