Relativity has reached an agreement with Silver Lake for an investment to support and accelerate Relativity’s growth in cloud-based eDiscovery, AI, and communication surveillance.
The press release is here. It emphasises Relativity’s dominating position in the market, with 300,000 annual users in 49 countries managing 145 billion files. Recent growth derives from a doubling of RelativityOne users in 12 months, and from the success of Relativity’s communication surveillance platform Relativity Trace. The Silver Lake investment will enhance both, with RelativityOne extending to four additional regions in 2021, and even more resources devoted to the artificial intelligence in Relativity Trace. There will also be investment in expanding Relativity’s offerings to law firms.
Silver Lake will have a significant minority stake in Relativity, and Silver Lake will have representation on the board of directors. Founder Andrew Sieja remains the largest single investor in Relativity, and continues in his present role.
I spoke to Steve Couling, Managing Director and Vice President, Sales in EMEA, to find out how the investment will enhance Relativity’s offering in his region. For one thing, he said, the planned expansion of RelativityOne will include two regions in EMEA this year. Relativity will increase the number of its cloud data centres in the EU and, he said, will be able to enhance Relativity’s support for customers in the region.
I asked Steve Couling where the new EMEA growth was coming from. New markets are emerging, he said, as regulation – and particularly financial regulation – extends its reach, including in jurisdictions which have not historically required discovery as part of the litigation process. Brexit has brought relevant shifts, making Ireland – already a data-aware jurisdiction with a strong discovery tradition – a growth area. In addition, he said, the cloud makes possible more types of customer use.
This is not the only recent example of investor confidence in the crossover between lawyer requirements and data analysis, with regulation as the main driver and AI as the area most ripe for development. If we are well past the early adopter stage, there seems plenty of scope for expansion into a wider range of firms and companies, as well as into new activities, all across a broadening geographical area.