This startup is taking a high-tech approach to making divorces more amicable. “Every 13 seconds, someone is getting divorced in this country. It’s created a $30 billion market in legal fees alone and the second most stressful event in life,” said Michelle Crosby, founder of Wevorce.
Breaking it down
Crosby’s idea came from her own childhood experience in and out of courtrooms during her parent’s contentious divorce. “Wevorce is changing divorce for good,” Crosby told CNBC. Wevorce’s web-based technology connects users with experts and resources, from attorneys to financial experts, that can all help families reach a settlement.
Couples begin by filling out a questionnaire, which the startup uses to create a “divorce archetype. Our divorce archetypes predict where a family’s divorce explosions will be and give them a road map to keep their divorce amicable,” she said. The starting price to use Wevorce’s online platform is $749.
While Crosby said she expects 3,500 people will begin their divorce on Wevorce this year, Fran Hauser, a partner at Rothenberg Ventures, wondered how many users would complete the process on the platform. According to Crosby, the startup has a 98 percent settlement rate, and “we’re doing it in a quarter of the time and a third of the cost. And we’ve had over $40 million in assets run through the platform.” But angel investor Nat Burgess was concerned that the decreased legal fees would deter lawyers from working with Wevorce.
Crosby said her software saves attorneys 60 percent of the time typically spent on a case, and helps its attorneys with marketing. “They’re actually getting a much higher net margin return when they are working with us,” she said. Since its launch in November 2013, the Boise, Idaho-based startup has raised $7 million in funding. Key investors include Silicon Valley accelerator, Y Combinator, and Techstars Ventures. Crosby said the funds will be used to scale the company and “create partnerships that provide Wevorce products and services to others.”