How Evisort uses AI to help companies understand what’s in their contracts

Justine Hofherr
January 8, 2018
Photo via Evisort

Most legal professionals are used to having a massive stack of documents on their desks waiting for review at all times: It’s a part of the job.

Or is it? Evisort, a Harvard-launched startup founded in 2016, claims its AI-powered software can give time back to legal and HR professionals by organizing and categorizing legal contracts on their behalf.

“It’s extremely difficult for companies to understand what’s actually in their contracts,” said Jerry Ting, co-founder of Evisort. “It’s really a problem at a high level. Companies struggle to stay on top of their data.”

Created by four law students from Harvard, two MIT data scientists and two computer scientists from Northeastern University, Evisort says it has created six different types of algorithms that can organize and draw insights from more than 24 types of legal contracts.

According to Ting, Evisort’s comprehensive platform can cover all the needs of an organization related to its financial, legal, accounting and compliance contracts. Their software can also be integrated directly into an organization’s existing IT environment.

It’s extremely difficult for companies to understand what’s actually in their contracts."

Ting said he came up with the idea for the startup while interning at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

“People were pushing bins of paper around the court and I was surprised,” Ting said. “I started looking into it and those bins of paper were the documents that the court was referencing. Everything was printed out — it was so messy.”

Ting couldn’t believe that legal professionals would have the time or energy to effectively sift through all that paper, and correctly assumed that they were often missing key data points as well.

In Ting’s next job, he worked on a sales team at Yelp in San Francisco. There, he expanded Yelp into Canada and learned how to work with business partners and scale an organization.

While later attending Harvard Law School, Ting’s focus shifted from being a startup attorney to launching Evisort’s software and helping companies understand the data in their documents.

In this way, Ting said Evisort’s software is “kind of like Google,” just for legal documents. Legal professionals can use an advanced search tool to search for phrases, words and document types, while a task management tool helps them keep track of deadlines and action times.

Evisort is currently a Boston-based team of eight with three clients.

Ting said 2018 will entail raising the company’s first round of seed funding, building out their engineering team and scaling Evisort across the country.

“There’s a general excitement around our startup in Boston,” Ting said. “Now it’s just about stabilizing the business and developing deliverables.”

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