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6 June 2017

Court Innovations finds in favour of series A

A spinout of University of Michigan’s Law School, Court Innovations has secured $1.8m from investors including the institution’s student-led Social Venture Fund.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

Court Innovations, a dispute resolution platform spun out of University of Michigan, raised $1.8m today in a series A round that featured the Social Venture Fund, the institution’s student-led impact investment fund.

The Social Venture Fund contributed $50,000 to the round, which was led by Belle Michigan Angels and also included Northern Michigan Angels and the Michigan Angel Fund as well as private backers, including through equity crowdfunding platform Netcapital.

Founded in 2014, Court Innovations has created a platform, Matterhorn, that enables courts to handle minor infractions, disputes and outstanding warrants online. It is based on work by JJ Prescott, professor of law, and Ben Gubernick, former law student, at University of Michigan’s Law School.

Matterhorn is particularly aimed at people unable to afford transportation or to get off work to appear in court in person. By allowing people to submit contextual information, answer questions and hear back from a judge online, cases can be closed within eight days rather than taking up to two months.

Matterhorn is available or currently launching in a total of 23 court systems. Court Innovations will use the series A capital to increase sales and marketing activities with a view of expanding outside the Midwest across the US.

The Social Venture Fund will take an observer seat on Court Innovations’ board. The fund will also make a team available for consulting projects that would benefit the business.

JJ Prescott said: “Too often, ideas that start in the academic world stay there; as a company, Court Innovations is the embodiment of University of Michigan-bred creative problem-solving and passion for making the world a better place.

“Millions of people in this country are expected to use courts or public agencies that they can't afford or are too afraid to use. Court Innovations' goal is make justice accessible to everyone, and we’re grateful for the Social Venture Fund’s support in making that mission a reality.”

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