Legit, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to speed up the process of applying for patents and other intellectual property protections, closed a $2.6 million seed round Tuesday.
Eniac Ventures led the round, and Elementum Ventures and Max Ventures participated. Legit is now a part of a growing group of local companies, including Localytics and Quilt, that have received funding from Eniac, an eight-year-old VC firm with offices in New York City and San Francisco that specializes in seed-stage rounds and A.I. powered software.
Legit will use the investment to scale its sales operations and research team, CEO Matt Osman said in an interview. Currently, the company has nine employees, including three full-time A.I. researchers.
“We basically have an R&D department, which is pretty unusual for a software company of our size,” Osman said. “So we’re going to be adding on salespeople, and then also scaling up on the engineering side.”
Specifically, Osman said they will be hiring around five new people before raising another round, including two salespeople, a person in operations and a couple of engineers.
Originally based out of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, the company, which is now based between Central and Kendall Square in Cambridge, was co-founded by Osman, Jacob Rosen and Dr. Anthony Bucci in July 2016. Its first product, which launched four months ago, is a software that is meant to translate an inventor’s idea into a ready-for-submission patent application.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the federal agency that grants patents and registers trademarks, describes the process of obtaining a patent as a eight-step process, which ranges from determining the type of intellectual property protection you need to understanding what kind of patent you need. Osman said that the steps Legit can help with are identifying what the invention is, determining what kind of protection would be more relevant and determining how novel and likely valuable the invention is.
Osman pointed out that the software can be scaled to work across all intellectual property applications, including copyrights and trademarks. Target customers are enterprise corporations with an R&D department.
“What we’re essentially trying to build is almost a ‘GitHub for inventions,'” Osman said.