1) The Founders
Kundan Shahi, Mahendra Singh, Syed Asif Iqbal and Himanshu Kesari; all of them are from diverse backgrounds such as law, insurance, technology and consultancy.
2) The Concept
In 2016, the co-founders launched their first start-up called Advok8 that focussed on litigation funding, case tracking and other legal aid services. In the course of work, they realised that there was a huge market out there as people seek legal advice for a plethora of reasons. However, they hesitate to go ahead as they have little knowledge of the legal system. As lawyers are not allowed to advertise or promote their work, individuals find it difficult to access them. High legal costs also act as a deterrent in many cases. The four, therefore, decided to launch a second start-up (the company is registered as Ayu.AI) to provide personalised legal support to individuals in an affordable and timely manner.
3) The Backers
The company raised Rs 70 lakh from a clutch of angel investors, including Surender Kumar, Chief Manager (Quality Assurance) at Hindustan Petroleum and Chittransh Verma, India Partner at Dubai-based VC firm ASZ Ventures, among others. The company is now raising Rs 1.5 crore.
4) The Business
GoAyu provides sector-specific Legal Assistance Cards, which cost between Rs 100 and Rs 5,000 and offer temporary safeguards against litigation expenses for 2-60 days. For instance, if an employee fears workplace harassment, she can purchase an Employment Assistance Card in advance and get legal aid, should the need arise. Again, a business owner may want to buy a Founder Card if business conflicts are foreseen. These digital cards can be purchased online, and GoAyu will provide legal consultancy (either through a helpline or by arranging a face-to-face meeting with a lawyer) as per one's requirement.
The firm has six in-house counsels while four law firms work on fixed monthly fees. Another 76 law firms have been empanelled and get paid as per the work assigned. According to Shahi, Couple Card, Cheque Bounce Card, Insurance Rejection Card, Employment Card and Founder Card are currently getting the most traction.