International Finance
Entrepreneurs Magazine September - October 2018

A new-age platform for legal compliance

As the world becomes smaller thanks to business, legal compliance can get complicated across borders. To ensure a faster and efficient platform for companies to get the legal lay of land, Garth Watson, Malcolm Gray and Peter Flynn created Libryo

Why did the founders see the need for establishing a concept like Libryo?

Global regulation is not centrally coordinated. Law differs materially from country to country, and nationally as you cross internal borders and is increasingly complex and fragmented. If one is responsible for the legal compliance of a multinational organisation, this regulatory complexity takes on a whole new dimension requiring a never ending manual legal research project. This is either done expensively, inaccurately, or not at all. The same is true for law firms who for many corporate clients, often provide these services as loss leaders. The co-founders recognised a need to create a platform that was global, efficient and cost-effective, offering multi-national companies a better way to know and be updated of the regulations faced at each operation.

How does Libryo manage to provide clarity on legal affairs across borders?

Libryo has developed a very scalable data-structure. Utilising Libryo’s global database of regulatory law, enriched with metadata and content, the Libryo platform prescribes the precise sections of statutory instruments that regulate any given business operation based on the attributes of the operation. This allows users to know their regulatory legal universe and query it using normal language i.e conduct legal research without being a lawyer or having legal research skills.

Libryo founders Peter Flynn, Garth Watson, Malcolm Gray
Libryo founders
Peter Flynn, Garth
Watson, Malcolm Gray

Can you take me through the different offerings Libryo has?

Essentially, know your law, know your compliance, and cross-compare your law. What is different about Libryo’s offering from one customer to the next is that each company will have a number of sets of regulation that apply to them; one for each unique operation. The Libryo Platform thus provides unique legal collections for each operation. Within this, all users have access to the Libryo Platform’s full host of features including intuitive search, automated updates, plain language summaries per section, summary translations, document storage, specialist legal support and most importantly – truly site and context specific regulatory information available on demand.

Does the platform get updated periodically? How does this happen?

Libryo Platform legal registers are automatically updated. These updates can be viewed using the notifications module on the Libryo Platform. Users are also alerted via email whenever legislation is updated in their applicable legal register(s).

You have a prominent set up in Sub Saharan Africa – any particular reason?

Yes, in the past year, the business has expanded from five to 50 countries, 45 of which are across Sub-Saharan Africa. The founders are all South Africans and Libryo has its roots in a South African legal compliance consultancy.

Do you plan on expanding to other nations/regions? And where to?

Definitely! We plan to expand the business further across four continents – Africa, Europe, North America and Australia – in the next 18 to 24 months and we plan to cover all regulatory law globally within seven years. We talk about seven continents in seven years.

How many clients does Libryo have and what sectors does the platform cater to?

We have over 130 customers and 6000 active users of the Libryo Platform. Customers already using the Libryo platform include multinational companies in the telecommunications, energy, infrastructure, mining, banking and oil and gas industries, among others.

You have just raised $1mn in funding – what do you plan to do with this funding first?

We raised those funds last year and have executed well against the plan. We’ve expanded our team with critical hires to further develop product, automating many processes, ensuring customers gain maximum benefit from Libryo and growing the business into new markets.

What are your plans for the immediate future?

Our entry into North America (including Canada) is imminent. This will include (amongst other things) bringing all USA federal, state, county and city regulation into the Libryo Platform in a machine readable format. Given the progress we’ve made thus far we are now able to do that. Germany and India are also imminent new markets for Libryo.

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