Elevate Services has received $25 million in funding from a private equity firm as the Los Angeles-based legal services business aims internally for a public stock market listing in 2021.
Elevate has also predicted its revenue will climb to $76 million in 2019—and to more than twice that amount by 2023, according to a presentation obtained by Bloomberg Law.
Elevate’s growth and drive toward a public listing shows how fast-growing the market for nontraditional legal service models has become. Elevate, which bills itself as a “law company,” provides consulting, technology and other services to law firms and law departments.
“Elevate is addressing a critical need in a sizable market, with a new business model, just as change is beginning to take hold in the legal sector.” said Leon Chen, a partner with Kayne Partner Funds who has joined Elevate’s board of directors as part of the Kayne investment deal, in a company announcement.
Elevate has been on an acquisition binge over the past year, snapping up five companies since November. Those acquisitions have contributed to the company’s top line.
The company expects 2019 revenue to reach $76 million, with $20 million of that coming from acquisitions, according to the presentation.
Elevate expects revenues to grow to $197 million by 2023, with gross profits of $68 million, the presentation states. In 2019, the company expects $24 million of gross profits, up from $8 million in 2016 and $14 million in 2018, it said.
The company’s gross margin has risen from 27% to 30%, the presentation says. At the same time, its gross margin on “new sales” rose from 32% in 2017 to 42% in 2018.
With rising revenues and significant investments at its back, Elevate is aiming for a public listing on the AIM stock exchange in London in 2021, according to the presentation. The AIM, formerly known as the Alternative Investment Market, is a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange that allows smaller companies to float shares.
Elevate is not the only legal services player to say it intends to turn to public markets. Alternative legal services provider Axiom announced in February it plans to go public in the U.S.
The $25 million investment from Kayne will help scale operations to meet demand, and serve to enhance Elevate’s Cael entgerprise legal management software, Elevate has said. Cael includes a number of tools both for law firms and corporate law departments, including a contract life cycle management system.
The new funds from Kayne Partners, the dedicated growth private equity group of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisers, bring Elevate’s total capital deployed to nearly $60 million.
“This investment will support our future growth plans, continuing the momentum created by our series of recent acquisitions,” said Elevate Founder and Executive Chairman Liam Brown in a statement. Brown was referring to five businesses that Elevate acquired in late 2018 and early 2019.
The company’s recent acquisitions include the enterprise consulting and legal-focused artificial intelligence tech firm LexPredict, law company Yerra Solutions, and Hong Kong-based legal resourcing company Cognatio Law.
Elevate has grown by an average of 65 percent per year over the last five years, according to the company.