Sunday, August 23, 2009

E-discovery industry seeing slower growth, more mergers

Below are a few interesting comments from a recent e-discovery article in the ABA Journal, which mentioned the following companies: SPI Global Solu­tions, Onsite3, Integreon, Discover-e Legal, D4, Ivize, TechLaw Solutions and Kroll Ontrack.

From the article: A funny thing happened on the way to amending the federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 2006: That watershed event triggered a surge of investment in e-discovery software and services, fueling a mini tech bubble. The number of players exploded from a few dozen in 2000 to about 600 these days.

“It was almost like a gold rush,” says John Bace, research vice president of Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn. “People saw e-discovery as a quick and easy way to make money.”...

Commercial spending in this young niche is expected to increase this year by 20 percent to $4.05 billion, according to consultant George J. Socha Jr., who co-founded the Electronic Discovery Reference Model, an industry consortium that sets guidelines and standards.

But growth has slowed sharply from annual rates of more than 40 percent just a few years ago, according to Socha’s surveys. And it’s getting much harder to compete profitably in an industry that is coming of age during the worst economic downturn in decades. For one thing, clients no longer are willing to write open-ended checks for services that easily can exceed $1.75 million for an average case....

Gartner estimates that by the end of this year, one in four software vendors will be acquired, merge or exit the e-discovery business. Socha, founder of St. Paul, Minn.-based Socha Consulting, sees even more shrinkage over time; he estimates consolidation will reduce the number of service and software providers by about two-thirds to as few as 200. There will always be room for smaller service players, he says, but “the market truly cannot support this many vendors in the long haul.”...

EMC Rumored Buying eDiscovery Vendor Kazeon

Recent post on BNET...

EMC looks set to expand its document management and storage business with the adjunction of ediscovery specialist Kazeon Systems.

EMC and Kazeon are already partners, so EMC knows exactly what it’s getting, and an acquisition would ensure that Kazeon doesn’t get snapped up by rivals like Oracle, HP or Microsoft, which also provide application suites intended to help enterprise customers manage their vast stores of data. The deal also illustrates the success that vendors are having in convincing enterprise customers that ediscovery software can be a more strategic tool than simply a way to ensure compliance with government regulations and litigation rules.

In fact, EMC also partners with two other ediscovery vendors, Clearwell and StoredIQ, but those vendors sell more limited point solutions geared uniquely to legal applications, while Kazeon has more rounded expertise in enterprise search. Kazeon is thus a more compelling acquisition because EMC can position its search technology and expertise as a more strategic application and expand further into enterprise search, which is one of the few sectors of the software industry that didn’t miss a beat despite the downturn.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

RenewData Receives $4M in Funding, Acquires Digital Mandate

RenewData grabs $4M in funding

Information management company RenewData Corp. has received $4 million of a planned $6.1 million financing.

Austin-based RenewData got the funding from four investors, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Earlier this week, RenewData officials revealed that the company had acquired New York-based Digital Mandate LLC for an undisclosed amount.

RenewData Acquires Digital Mandate, Adds Innovative Vestigate Document Review Software to eDiscovery Technology Portfolio

AUSTIN, TX - August 12, 2009 - RenewData, a leading provider of services for the discovery, archiving, and governance of electronically stored information (ESI), today announced it has successfully completed an acquisition of Digital Mandate, provider of discovery lifecycle management solutions including Vestigate document review software. This acquisition further strengthens RenewData's commitment to investing in technology that delivers market leading information governance solutions, significantly lowers costs to clients, and meets requirements for both legal and IT professionals. To support the acquisition and other growth initiatives, existing investors ABS Capital Partners and CIBC Capital Partners provided the equity financing.