What happens when ChatGPT meets contract management? Slovakian Cequence finds the answer, securing investments of over a million euros within a year

The LegalTech startup Cequence is garnering increasing attention in the realm of contract management. Its digital SaaS tool, directly integrating ChatGPT, allows for the automation of processes and fundamentally changes how companies handle their contracts and related agenda.

With over 20,000 users, support from Vision Ventures, and a unique approach to artificial intelligence, it opens new possibilities for efficient contract management, administrative burden reduction, and team productivity enhancement.

Ever wondered if your company faces penalties for changing software suppliers within a year? Or if you can reduce the number of licenses for your ERP system without consequences? The answers lie solely in the contracts, leaving you no choice but to dive into the documents to find them. At least, that was the case until now.

“Imagine a simple chat interface where you can ask any question related to your contractual relationships. Behind the scenes, the AI-supported software scans tens of thousands of pages of your contracts and, within seconds, offers a detailed answer, enabling you to make quick, informed business decisions,” says Rasťo Kovaľ, co-founder and CEO of Cequence.

Cequence, a Slovak startup, has developed a solution for managing the contract lifecycle with AI support. This software automates manual tasks, minimizes human errors, and provides a clear environment for managing and archiving contracts.

Today, over 20,000 people worldwide use the solution daily. Its clientele includes tech giant Dell Inc., Swiss healthcare consultancy Acrondis AG, and public institutions like the Slovak Ministry of Interior or the Central Purchasing of Pilsen Region.

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) deals with managing all aspects of a contract from creation to termination, traditionally associated with time-consuming and repetitive tasks requiring qualified specialists, often with legal education.

According to a DocuSign survey, employees spend an average of 45 minutes finding the right contract and another 84 minutes locating the correct clause within it.

Cequence can reduce these times to seconds through digitalisation of contract archives and automation of most manual tasks. Key to this are functionalities built on OpenAI’s artificial intelligence technology, enabling the solution to quickly summarize extensive documents, identify and highlight contract risks, or extract key information. Clients using Cequence have seen significant improvements, including a 50% faster contract closure rate and a 62% increase in compliance with contractual obligations.

Slovak investments, global potential

The Prešov-based startup secured two investments in the pre-seed phase, exceeding a million euros in total. Investors are attracted not only by the product’s contribution and its business potential but also by its unique use of artificial intelligence.

“Most of our competitors had solid products before OpenAI’s advent and have since been trying to fully integrate AI functionalities into their robust solutions. Conversely, we created a flexible CLM platform at the time the first generation GPT model was emerging. Over time, we established official cooperation with OpenAI, integrating ChatGPT directly into our solution. We’re also collaborating with American neurocomputing company Numenta, which uses the latest neuroscience findings to accelerate and refine AI systems. Artificial intelligence is not just a trendy add-on for us but a main pillar of the entire product,” says Martin Ragan, co-founder and CRO of Cequence.

Cequence today serves customers of various sizes from both the private and public sectors in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, and the United States. Its global reach is related to a specific market position where both narrow specialization and software architecture play roles.

“In our region today, you won’t find a similar solution. There are companies that implement solutions capable of covering contract management, but they are not tailor-made for this area. On the global stage, there are major players offering either robust corporate tools or box solutions. We’ve created a platform at the low-code and no-code boundary, allowing us to connect these worlds. We can utilize agile implementation, customize solutions without increased development costs, and go live within six weeks. Cequence AI can already search metadata in contracts and answer questions with up to 90 percent accuracy during implementation, and those numbers only grow with the amount of customer data Cequence AI learns from. At the end of the day, we can offer a tailor-made solution at the price of a box product,” adds Ragan, who joined Cequence from Silicon Valley, where he was involved in the digital transformation of public institutions.

From contract managers for contract managers

Cequence boasts five co-founders who occupy pivotal roles within the company. Two of them hail from a background in contract management, including Rasťo Kovaľ, who conceived the idea for this innovative tool while negotiating multimillion-euro agreements in a global technology firm.

I was at the genesis of contracts, giving me the opportunity to shape business and understand the contexts of commercial relationships, which I found fulfilling. However, as time passed and our team handled more contracts, it became apparent that a significant portion of our time was consumed by repetitive administrative tasks. Instead of focusing on the quality of agreements and building relationships with suppliers, we spent half our time on administration and data entry, which was exceptionally frustrating. I pondered that there must be a better, more efficient way to automate and alleviate the burden on myself and my colleagues, allowing us to develop areas that truly add value,” recalls the current CEO about Cequence’s inception.

The development of a prototype followed, leading to a successful pilot implementation within a multinational company. Utilising the new software reduced the contract issuance to signing cycle by 50%, from the original 60 days to 30, saving hundreds of hours annually. Since then, Cequence has expanded in personnel and functionality. Today, it not only offers a comprehensive CLM software supported by artificial intelligence but also boasts a top-tier team and a multimillion-euro financial injection to achieve technological milestones.

“We are halfway there. Our vision is to create a negotiation assistant. An autonomous AI capable of proposing solutions and advising on responses to counterparty arguments within contract negotiations. The next step would be for it to draft contracts and conduct preliminary negotiation rounds. The goal is to shift humans to a decision-making role, which would bring significant financial and time savings throughout the entire contract lifecycle,” concludes Kovaľ, CEO of Cequence.

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Enjoying the culinary show?

All this and much more, we do for you – our beloved startup community, for free. If you like what we do, join us on this culinary journey by supporting us on Buy Me a Coffee . Your contribution fuels our passion for fostering startup success.