- DoNotPay is the “world’s first robot lawyer” that recently raised $4.6 million in funding led by Felicis Ventures
DoNotPay — the home of the “world’s first robot lawyer” — is a company that was founded by Stanford dropout and Thiel Fellow Joshua Browder. Browder had come up with the idea for DoNotPay after receiving and trying to fight more than 30 parking tickets since he got his driver’s license at age 18.
Following this process, Browder saw the opportunity to automate mundane and repetitive processes of writing letters to fight the tickets. Since he could not afford the payments as a college student, he wrote to appeal the fees based on financial hardship. This means he had to write identical letters every time a ticket was placed on his windshield.
Then he decided to automate this process using a chatbot and his classmates at Stanford also utilized the service.
According to Business Insider, DoNotPay recently raised $4.6 million in seed funding led by Felicis Ventures. Index Ventures, Founders Fund, Highland Capital, Tuesday, and Coatue Asset Management also participated in the round.
In 2017, DoNotPay had raised $1.1 million in seed funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. And Browder was named as a Thiel Fellow by his senior year in 2018 — which is a program set up by investor Peter Thiel that pays students to drop out of college in order to work on ideas full-time.
Browder told Business Insider that he did not want to work at companies like Facebook and Google as a lot of his other classmates are doing. “I want to work on something that gives justice to people and encourages it,” said Browder in the interview.
With this round of funding, Browder is aiming to automate other areas of consumer law. Currently, DoNotPay operates in 100 different areas of local and municipal law. And it is planning to expand to areas like landlord complaints, various types of traffic tickets, and general consumer rights issues.
DoNotPay already expanded into an area that helps consumers sue companies that got hacked and leak personal data. This service launched around the same time as the Equifax data breach. And some of his customers were able to win up to $9,000 in small claims courts against the credit bureau by using DoNotPay’s services.
Essentially, DoNotPay works with paralegals for identifying municipal codes and other hyper-localized laws such as parking limits. And these codes are integrated into the app’s model using machine learning.
And if someone uses the app and the issue matches an existing code, a letter and complaint can be automatically generated for free. DoNotPay generates revenue through a subscription service a user can opt into if they want the company to file the complaint for them.
Browder pointed out that everyone ranging from VCs using the product to homeless people could benefit from DoNotPay. “Unfortunately, a lot of people are being ripped off by corporations and governments so we are going after a mass market,” added Browder in the Business Insider interview.