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CIBC Spotlight on DAABA: The Mobile App Improving Access to Legal Services

Futurpreneur | January 2, 2018

Futurpreneur Canada recognizes the hard work, determination and passion it takes to start a business. That is why we teamed up with CIBC for a campaign to recognize the milestones (big or small) that our entrepreneurs reach while starting and growing their businesses.

As a part of the campaign, we’re encouraging our Futurpreneurs to share their start-up successes using the hashtag #FuturHighFive on social media. Mohamed Ali of DAABA is one of those success stories.

In this day and age, there are few remaining industries who have yet to receive the mobile app treatment.

From fitness to fashion, there seems to be an unlimited amount of professional services that we can now access at the swipe of a screen.

And now, thanks to the creators of DAABA, we can add legal services to that list. DAABA is a mobile app that connects users with nearby law students, paralegals and lawyers within their respective areas.

“The concept is simple,” says co-founder Mohamed Ali. “A user posts his or her case with a brief summary including their budget, and picks which audience the case will appear to, i.e. Law Students in Montreal. That case appears to that particular audience’s feed on their app and users pick the best offer and the two engage together.”

DAABA is an independent platform for all purposes and is not a law firm, nor do they collect referral fees or commission from legal services providers. It’s also free to use for end users.

The founders were inspired to start their business when they realized three truths: law students struggle with student debt, there are high unemployment rates in the legal field, and most importantly, many people often struggle to access to legal assistance.

With its mobile marketplace platform, DAABA simultaneously helps debt-saddled law students and unemployed graduates earn an income from their skills, while also empowering middle-class users who are neither rich enough to afford a lawyer or poor enough to qualify for legal aid.

However, such an innovative model has also attracted some critics, especially in regards to promoting the idea of law students helping people in need of legal assistance.

“Law societies have expressed concerns, but we worked with them to reassure them and we tailored our terms and conditions to be 100% compliant with the reality of both the United States and Canadian provinces,” says Mohamed.

Their hard work has paid off – at only five months old, the company was a finalist at Défi Montréal 2017 as well as the Canada Channel Elite Awards in Toronto. They were also recognized at the Canada Channel Elite Awards (CDNCEA) gala in the GTA last September 2017 as a Finalist.

“It was an honour for our team to be recognized,” says Mohamed about the gala. “This event exposed DAABA to well-established communities of IT professionals in Canada. The gala was about more than just awards.”

The founders are also grateful for their experience working with Futurpreneur Canada, who they collaborated with for events like Startup Weekend Montreal.

“For an aspiring young entrepreneur, a mentor can serve as a precious guide and a resourceful go-to person when facing a business challenge, be it raising funds to manage the company’s daily operations or managing growth in an optimal way when opening new markets or trying new business models,” says Mohamed.

For tech business like DAABA, this advice can be critical, as even young companies need to adapt to the latest trends to be successful. In fact, the DAABA founders are already looking to move the company to a more B2B strategy and help companies get affordable corporate legal assistance. They are also planning to eventually step into the AI world and make DAABA a hybrid platform where both AI and human practitioners serve their end users.

With an overall vision “to be the principal platform in digitalizing the Global Law Practice and to empower both people and LSPs to create a fairer and more accessible legal service for all,” it’s clear that DAABA is already well on their way. Here at Futurpreneur Canada, we’re excited to see what DAABA has accomplished in only a few short months and we can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon for the young start-up.

Written by: Jasmine Williams, Social Media and Content Specialist, Futurpreneur Canada

Want to be featured in a #FuturHighFive Entrepreneur Spotlight? Share you start-up milestones using #FuturHighFive on Instagram and Twitter!