Record Raises $500K Pre-Seed Investment Led by Startup Ignition Ventures, with Co-investment from Frazier Group
Record System, Inc., d/b/a Record, a B2B SaaS legal software startup based in Las Vegas, announced it has raised a $500,000 pre-seed investment. Startup Ignition Ventures led the investment. Frazier Group co-invested. It is the first co-investment between SIV and Frazier Group.
“Record is a perfect fit for our highly-tuned focus on B2B SaaS startups with must-have features that help users take care of daily workflows,” said John Richards, Co-Founder and General Manager of Startup Ignition Ventures. “The fact that the personal injury attorney and Record co-founder Dean Tingey devised the need for better platforms helping clients and attorneys to communicate at a stressful time to put together a case hits even more on point where we prefer founders with deep vertical knowledge.”
We rarely invest in pre-seed companies, but Kenny stood out immediately,” said David Frazier, Managing Director of Frazier Group. “He is passionate and laser-focused on personal injury clients. Record's market is small enough to dominate but big enough to justify venture capital. I'm thrilled, alongside Startup Ignition, to see Kenny make legal advice more accessible to the personally injured.”
Co-Founder and CEO, Kenny Eliason, sat down with TechBuzz to discuss the backstory of the company and the numerous pivots he and his team experienced before they landed on a solid business model and product-market fit.
Eliason is a veteran Startup Ignition bootcamp member. He has broken a record by having attended six different Startup Ignition bootcamp cohorts, taking full advantage of the alumni discount for repeat attendance.
“I just felt that there's so much to learn. In my first couple of times, I didn't have enough time to absorb it all,” said Eliason. “And now my business is rapidly changing and evolving. We have done many pivots. So different parts of the bootcamp are more relevant to me now.” Eliason is planning on attending the bootcamp in February 2024 with Record’s new CTO who will join the company in the new year.
Record is a Las Vegas-based startup with ties to Utah. Eliason met John and Tyler Richards in 2017 when the Startup Ignition team was trying to help build the Las Vegas venture ecosystem in the days when Zappos Founder Tony Hsieh (now deceased) tried to turn downtown Vegas into a startup village. At that time, by sheer coincidence, Eliason was co-owner of a coworking space where the Startup Ignition bootcamp was looking to hold their event.
The bootcamp would eventually take place in Utah. Eliason traveled there and attended it with the hopes of moving it to his coworking space in Las Vegas. At the bootcamp he became immersed in lean startup methodology and became motivated to learn more. So he attended one bootcamp. And then another. And then another. His frequent participation in Startup Ignition bootcamp changed his entrepreneurial trajectory and unleashed fresh entrepreneurial energy and ideas.
“I went through the course and my mind was blown,” said Eliason. “I felt like everything I had been taught about business was incorrect. I felt like I'd been trying to build a scalable startup for the past ten years, but I was doing it completely wrong.”
“John’s bootcamp taught me the best way to build an app is to have a technical co-founder. The worst thing to do is to hire an agency to build your app. My agency was the developer for lots of apps that, of course, all failed. So all of a sudden, sitting in John’s course all of these things are like falling into place.”
In October 2021, Eliason went through the Startup Ignition bootcamp as an alumni. His goal at the time was to join another startup team as its CTO, the developer of someone else’s idea.
Halfway through the conference, Eliason received a text from a former boss, Dean Tingey, from a decade and a half earlier. Tingey is a personal injury attorney with a law firm in Las Vegas. Eliason had worked there as a paralegal for many years and fell in love with the legal industry–mainly because of his interactions with clients.
Tingey said they wanted to build legal software to take to the market. “I took a photo of the Startup Ignition banner in the front of the room, and I said, ‘Yeah, I'm interested,’” said Eliason.’
Eliason returned to Las Vegas and, after some false starts, persuaded Tingey and two others on the team to attend the January 2022 Startup Ignition bootcamp before they started to build a product again.
One reason for an early pivot was a focus on the wrong problem. Eliason and Tingey's initial instinct was to focus on software geared towards helping law firms. However that field is crowded and populated with mature companies, some based in Utah, that were already satisfying the market needs for legal software.
Following the principles from the bootcamp, Eliason interviewed 50 attorneys over several months. Eliason and Tingey finally arrived at a validated business model–and they founded the company now known as Record.
“Using Record in my own firm has been transformative for our clients,” said Dean TIngey, co-founder of Record. “This funding will enable us to refine and expand its capabilities, further improving client experiences and case outcomes in personal injury law.”
One of the key lessons from the bootcamps is that every entrepreneur needs to hunt for unsolved problems, and the way to hunt is to conduct interviews. Eliason’s 50 interviews with lawyers helped him arrive at a surprising conclusion:
The focus of the legal software shouldn’t be on software for the law firm, but rather software for the law firm’s clients.
The unaddressed pain point was not that of the attorney but of the client. Clients wanted to be unleashed to provide documentation and photos to help the attorneys be more successful in winning the client’s personal injury cases. Record helps them do just that.
The name, Record, stems from the idea that clients use the software to submit daily records, a case journal, explaining how an injury is impacting the client’s life.
The legal terms are “duties under duress” or “loss of enjoyment.” Record’s app allows clients that have been injured to “record” daily activities that are being negatively impacted as a result of an injury, such as lifting a box or getting groceries, running in a park, or watching a kid’s soccer game. These are routine activities that are more difficult or painful after an injury that was caused by a car crash or other mishap. Record provides critical data to the personal injury attorneys without the attorney having to lift a finger. The clients do all the work. They are educated and guided by the Record app.
One of Record’s big selling points is that it excels at getting client data into law firms’ case management software through API integration. The company just moved to a new API and a new database structure, making the integration process more efficient.
Record will use part of the funding to create a set tools for communicating with clients, such as push notifications for things like appointment reminders. It will also build more client education into the app.
The funding will also help the Record team get in front of customers – personal injury law firms– that attend several conferences each year on the subject.
So far, Record is working with 70 active users represented by eight law firms that are using the app. These 70 users are enthusiastically reporting back to the Record team with feedback and suggestions.
“We're trying to not bring on too many clients right now so that we really knock it out of the park with these first handful of clients. We want to make sure they're as happy as possible. And then once we’ve dialed in the product, we'll start scaling a lot quicker,” said Eliason.
“It's surprising how much information clients are putting into the app,” said Eliason. “I knew they would, but the amount has been astounding. Clients are putting injury photos into the app, like, bruising from seat belts, airbag burns, pain scores. They're updating just so much information. So it's been really cool to see how much clients actually want this type of tool. And the nice part for the attorneys is that this data just shows up every day without any effort from them.”
For more information about Record visit getrecord.com.