By Ian Lopez, Legaltech News
When it comes to vendor choices, the e-discovery market is increasingly becoming a smaller place. And judging by the activity of recent years, acquisitions and strategic partnerships seem to be the favored method for scaling. Arizona-based e-discovery provider Ipro Tech first ventured down this path after being bought by investment firm ParkerGale. And as Ipro CEO Kim Taylor told Legaltech News, Ipro “sold with the upfront intention to make a few acquisitions.”
On August 1, Ipro made its first of those acquisitions, purchasing inData Corporation, a fellow Arizona company best known for its trial presentation software TrialDirector. The moves allows for the integration of Ipro’s Automated Digital Discovery (ADD) platform with inData’s trial and deposition management offerings.
The intent for users is to be able to shift between e-discovery and trial programs without having to leave a single platform. Speaking about inData’s users, CEO and president Derek Miller told LTN, “Ideally, they’ll be able to add on a subscription piece. … And those that want to just go to trial will still be able to just go to trial.”
And while the e-discovery space becomes the domain of fewer and fewer companies, it remains to be seen whether companies like Ipro can engage in their own acquisition strategies to compete. Mark Yacano, global practice leader of managed legal services at Major, Lindsey & Africa, told LTN that the acquisition is “endemic of the challenges that businesses are facing to stay relevant." Discussing major players, he described how Relativity, despite moving to the cloud and having partners “wondering how that will impact them, kCura still has an enormous market share.”
“Folks like Ipro have to find a hook, have to find a differentiator,” he said. “I’m surprised it’s taken this long for a provider to integrate with the trial presentation and trial preparation function, because logically they do make sense to pair. But whether or not that’s a significant enough differentiator for Ipro to build market share, I think that’s going to be very, very interesting.”