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Client Case Study: Clair

Outside GC and Clair: Supporting a fintech company’s revenue and growth objectives with skill and efficiency

Overview:

Outside GC plays a key role in Clair’s sales efforts by providing practical, business-centric legal and strategic advice on an as-needed basis, in the absence of an in-house lawyer.

Background:

Clair is a venture-backed, early-stage financial technology (fintech) provider of on-demand pay solutions designed to empower hourly workers by offering instant and fee-free access to earned wages. This mission is met through partnerships with HR technology companies, including human capital management (HCM) platforms, workforce management (WFM) platforms, and professional employer organizations (PEO). By seamlessly integrating with existing HCM platforms, Clair’s solution allows employers to offer enhanced benefits to their workers, and employees to gain access to a full suite of financial tools, including their own fee-free “Payday Wallet” and a Clair Debit Mastercard.

Opportunity:

Like other early-stage tech companies, Clair’s business model is predicated on accelerating revenue through robust sales, a key driver of which is a streamlined customer acquisition process. “Our success hinges, at least in part, on our ability to forge new partnerships,” explains Co-Founder and CEO Nico Simko.

Although Clair had an existing relationship with a traditional law firm, the company sought a practical, commercial-oriented legal resource that could simultaneously help them with customer contract templates that would protect the company, while also speeding up execution. In 2020, Simko was introduced to Bill Stone, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Outside GC, to discuss Clair’s legal needs. “We liked the fact that all of the firm’s lawyers are former in-house legal executives, many with considerable tech industry experience,” says Simko. “The business acumen that comes from such experience was the perfect fit for our start-up.” Clair retained Outside GC and now works with Stefan Vounsessea, a veteran member of the firm with over 25 years of experience working with start-ups and large enterprises.

Solution:

Clair needed an attorney with both significant legal skills and practical business experience who could support the company’s ambitious growth objectives. They chose Outside GC specifically for this reason. Stefan Vounsessea has over 25 years of legal and business experience advising software and tech companies at all stages of growth, and he understands the vital role that a balanced contract can play in the sales process. “Clair wanted a channel partnership agreement that would enable them to get through the sales cycle with efficiency without exposing them to unnecessary levels of risk,” notes Vounessea.

Outside GC prepared a templated alliance agreement for the company, providing a sound starting point from which the sales team could begin negotiations with new partners. “Because of Outside GC’s assistance, we’ve seen a noticeable increase in the number of new partners we’re signing up,” reports Lance Katigbak, Clair’s Head of Growth. “Our agreement is marketable while still protecting the company, and from this starting position, we’re able to save both time and money by avoiding a protracted negotiation phase.”

Clair also relies on Outside GC and Vounessa for as-needed revisions to the contract, as well as to discuss negotiation strategy and other issues related to customer acquisition.

Results:

Early-stage companies often have aggressive growth and sales objectives, and Clair is no different. The company sought a legal advisor with the right blend of technical skill and business acumen to prepare an agreement for its sales team that would be marketable to potential new partners. Outside GC attorney Stefan Vounessea offers both as an experienced legal executive with a focus on software, services and SaaS-related agreements. With Stefan’s assistance, Clair has not only increased its sales, but also managed to successfully raise $15M in Series A funding. “There’s no doubt that Outside GC played a key role in helping us reach this milestone by arming our sales team with a fair, yet protective agreement,” acknowledges Katigbak.

Having access to Stefan on an as-needed basis, and at the firm’s affordable rates, makes Outside GC the perfect fit for this early-stage company.

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