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Mike Lynch-backed legal tech startup Luminance raises $40 million, capitalizing on AI hype

Legal technology firm Luminance has raised $40 million in fresh funding from investors to grow its U.S. footprint, capitalizing on the wave of investor interest surrounding artificial intelligence.

The company told CNBC that it raised the fresh capital in a Series B funding round led by U.S. venture fund March Capital. National Grid Partners, the venture capital arm of the National Grid, and law firm Slaughter and May, also invested in the round.

"We had lots of interest from lots of VCs," Eleanor Lightbody, CEO of Luminance, told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday.

The fact that AI is now a "hot topic" certainly helped, Lightbody said, but she added that Luminance had the metrics — such as its annual sales performance — to match the interest it's gotten from investors.

Lightbody said that businesses are investing in AI tools like Luminance's to keep a competitive edge, as well as to reduce costs.

"Everyone wants to stay competitive," she told CNBC. "We want to build opportunities they didn't know existed."

Luminance said its annual recurring revenue jumped roughly fivefold in the past two years, but declined to share figures with CNBC. The company counts the likes of Koch Industries, Hitachi, Yokogawa, Liberty Mutual, LG Chem, and BBC Studios as its clients.

Founded in September 2015, Luminance develops machine learning models that help lawyers automate contract reviews and shorten the time it takes to get them signed. The company was founded by a combination of lawyers, mathematicians, and experts in mergers and acquisitions at the University of Cambridge.

Luminance is one firm of the many generating buzz from investors thanks to the hype swirling around artificial intelligence. Companies like OpenAI, Anthropic, Cohere, and