Sama Funding: Online Dispute Resolution Platform Sama Raises Seed Funding From Campus Fund

Legal technology company Sama, which has a platform that allows government agencies, businesses and individuals to resolve their legal disputes online, raised an undisclosed amount from Campus Fund in a round of seed funding.

The Bengaluru-based company said in a recent press release that it will use the seed funds to expand its market presence, scale the core team and accelerate product development.

The legal technology industry provides legal services using technology and software.

According to Sama, as of May this year, India’s court system had over 47 million cases pending in various courts – the subordinate courts had a backlog of almost 41 million cases. There have been some 6 million cases before the high courts and over 70,000 cases before the Supreme Court.

Of these, nearly 200,000 cases have been pending for more than 30 years, with a recent Indian justice report suggesting that cases in district courts remain pending for more than five years on average.

In a statement, Sama co-founder Akshetha Ashok said, “We believe that ODR (online dispute resolution) is the future of the justice system. Our vision is a world where anyone who files a case receives due care and attention, along with a fair and just outcome in a timely and cost-effective manner.

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ODR empowers government agencies, businesses, and individuals with technological tools that will help them resolve their disputes in a cost-effective manner. This is one of the main reasons for the success of ODR in countries like the United States, Canada, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates.

In India, Sama is the only ODR platform working with government agencies, such as the state legal services authorities of Maharashtra and Gujarat, and the Madhya Pradesh Police Administration to solve complex criminal cases.

“The solution that Sama’s team has built is desperately needed right now, not just in India, but around the world,” said Ambika Pande, Campus Fund’s student investment partner who was part of the agreement, in a press release. “It gives them a strong advantage to be the first to act and create an alternative justice ecosystem in the country.”

Campus Fund recently raised its second round of $10 million in funding to support student entrepreneurs on their journey to create new-age solutions for India, and is backed by companies like IIFL Wealth.

Government think tank Niti Ayog has released an ODR policy blueprint for India at the end of 2021 with the aim of laying the foundations for the next stage of India’s justice system.

The think tank recommended mandatory ODR for certain categories of disputes and suggested that further digitization and innovation in existing legal processes as well as the introduction of a regulatory framework for mediation and e-mediation reduce the burden on traditional courts.

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