LitLingo Works to Stop Inappropriate Work Emails Before They’re Sent

by Nona Tepper
August 12, 2020
Photo: LitLingo

LitLingo CEO Kevin Brinig believes a race car’s speed will increase after an improvement to its brakes. Similarly, he feels that companies can operate more efficiently by halting problematic emails before they’re sent.

In 2019, Brinig co-founded LitLingo, a startup that uses AI and machine learning to automatically identify potential risks in employee communications. On Monday, the Austin startup announced it received $2 million in a seed funding round led by LiveOak Venture Partners. The company will spend the cash on hiring product and engineering professionals to hone its augmented communication platform.

“The traditional solutions to mitigating legal, compliance or cultural risks with employee communications are retroactive and expensive — engaging outside counsel, hiring more lawyers, company-wide quarterly trainings,” Brinig said in a statement. “We’d like to flip that paradigm on its head.”

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LitLingo said “several” financial services, healthcare, legal and tech customers already use its platform, despite the startup just emerging from stealth. By integrating into employees’ email, office chat and customer service ticketing platforms, LitLingo aims to automatically flag language that perpetuates gender biases, constitutes sexual harassment or creates an otherwise toxic work culture. It then offers the writer suggestions for fixing their text. Brinig said LitLingo helps companies save on legal fees, in addition to improving customer relationships and office morale.

“If a company can prevent a single lawsuit or regulatory action on its own recognizance, it avoids millions of dollars in costs,” Brinig said.

LitLingo joins a variety of risk-centric startups that have received investment recently.

In late June, the Chicago-based Aclaimant raised $10 million to grow its risk management platform; in March, the Seattle-area Hyperproof raised $3 million in funding to help businesses comply with privacy and data laws; and in January, the Chicago-based ThirdPartyTrust raised $4.45 million to help businesses identify their vendors’ security flaws.

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