Updated to add “Three Questions.” Alma Asay‘s Allegory — a litigation management software business— has been acquired by Integreon today (Nov. 28, 2017). Asay joins Integreon as Chief Innovation Officer. (Bob Rowe is the CEO of Integreon.)
• Press Release: Business Wire.
1. What made you decide to sell Allegory?
Alma Asay: Building Allegory always has been about how we can deliver technology to lawyers that is easy to use and enables them to focus their time on lawyering.
Until recently, I saw two paths to building Allegory to reach its full potential:
(# 1) Grow steadily based on revenue, or
(# 2) Raise a lot of money to scale.
As it became clear that the appetite in the market for a litigation management software had turned a corner, I started to focus more on # 2 in order to take full advantage of being in the right place at the right time.
At the same time, we were negotiating a license with Integreon for an onsite deployment of Allegory that would sit behind their firewall, as an alternative for clients to our cloud instance. These discussions ultimately morphed into a proposal to acquire the entire Allegory business. This was compelling to me, because it meant we would hit the ground running to scale immediately versus an investment that would naturally entail ramp-up time to hire and train new people.
Integreon already has a deep footprint in the legal industry. I’ve also known Bob Rowe, the CEO, and Richard Levine, Chief of Staff, for many years and I knew they shared my vision for Allegory. All around, it was the right opportunity at the right time — for both me and the business — and I’m so excited to be starting this new chapter.
2. What will be your role as Chief Innovation Officer?
Asay: Two components:
(# 1) With respect to Allegory, I get to focus on all of the aspects of building a company that I loved, including developing the product and working closely with clients to address their challenges with great technology.
(# 2) I get to apply the experience and network I’ve built up over the past many years in the legal innovation community to bring new ideas to Integreon and, thereby, to our clients.
3. Were there any surprises?
Asay: The whole thing was a surprise. One day, we were talking about licensing and I was out fundraising, and the next, we were working on an acquisition deal.
Post-acquisition, everything is proceeding as we envisioned, and the whole team is energized to accelerate Allegory’s growth.
The biggest surprise is probably personal — the day after the acquisition closed, I was surprised by how much lighter I felt. After years of carrying the weight of a company, including shareholders’ investments, employees’ livelihoods, clients’ expectations… I stopped noticing how much all of that weighed on my mind, even when I thought I wasn’t thinking about it.
Since this deal was done, I have felt so much lighter and more present. It’s an enormous privilege to have the experience of building a startup and all of the growth that comes with that, and then to have a happy ending that enables me to fully appreciate that experience, while also having a newfound appreciation for returning to the “real world.”
• American Bar Association Legal Rebels: “Alma Asay: Couch surfer stays on track for CEO Success,” Sept. 6, 2017, by Jason Tashea.
• High Performance Counsel: “Allegory Law Founder and CEO Alma Asay Talks to High Performance Counsel for #BakerDozen,” July 26, 2017.
• HuffPost: “Women in Business Q&A: Alma Asay, Founter and CEO, Allegory,” April 6, 2017.
• CodeX Blog: “Almost-Raw Release: Allegory Raises $,” March 8, 2017.
• CodeX Blog: “5 Questions: Alma Asay,” May 27, 2017.
• Legaltech news: “Women of Legal Tech: Alma Asay: ‘Speak Your Mind, But Be Prepared to be Wrong,” May 25, 2016, by Monica Bay. (See also, CodeX post.)
• Law Sites by Robert Ambrogi: “Allegory Litigation Management: A Conversation with Founder Alma Asay,” Nov. 1, 2016.
Photo courtesy of Alma Asay.
Cover and other image: Clipart.com
Monica Bay is a Fellow at CodeX and a freelance journalist. She is a member of the California bar. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MonicaBay.