Our Founder

Andrew D. Klein

Andrew D. Klein, a Harvard Law School graduate and former Cravath, Swaine and Moore associate, founded Reynen Court in November 2017. He named the company after the small street in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where he grew up.

Andy had left the practice of law in 1992 to become an entrepreneur. His first company, Spring Street Brewing, made America’s first Belgium style wheat beer which he called Wit. In 1995, applying his experience as a securities lawyer, Andy built a simple website, registered shares in the beer company with the SEC, and then launched the first-ever initial public offering through the Internet.

Raising capital through the internet was a good idea and so, over a weekend, Andy recruited a high school friend to run the beer company and wrote a business plan to launch an investment bank dedicated to helping other companies raise money online. He called the new venture Wit Capital after the beer.

Five years later, Wit Capital flourished with the Internet boom. The company grew to over 600 persons and by 2001 recorded more than $350 million in annual revenues, arranging the online distribution of shares in more than 300 initial public offerings. Wit Capital itself went public in 1999, acquired the investment research and trading boutique Soundview Technology, and ultimately was acquired by Charles Schwab.

Andy moved to Amsterdam with his Dutch wife and growing family, and over the next decade and a half he co-founded two asset management firms, Skybridge Capital and Ultra Capital, and, in between those ventures, created and led Spotzer Media, a provider of digital advertising solutions to local businesses.

How it all started

Origin Story

In 2017, out looking for another big idea, the new generation of artificial intelligence start-ups targeting the legal industry caught his attention. As he looked further, he saw literally hundreds of companies offering or developing new technology for the legal industry.

At the same time, from conversations with friends at big law firms, he was struck by how little had changed in the basic infrastructure underpinning even the largest practices – and as a result, how difficult it was for firms to adopt modern technology or achieve genuine business transformation.

Rather than pursue development of a single purpose AI application, Andy concentrated on a larger opportunity: to help firms and vendors of legal technology adopt new standards and approaches that could remove barriers preventing meaningful modernization.

While Andy counted a number of areas where friction was evident, he focused first on the most significant obstacle – the clear disconnect between the fact that, on the one hand, most modern computing applications are designed and built to run in the cloud while, on the other hand, large firms still run nearly all of their software on-premises in order to maintain direct control over security, data protection and stability.

The “solution” that came into focus was derived in equal measure from something Andy had learned during his tenure at Spotzer and from a discovery completely new to him.

Inspired by the idea that the legal industry could benefit from a similar services automation platform, Andy went out to canvass technology experts.

At Spotzer, the principal challenge for many years had been how to cost effectively sell to plumbers, painters and other very small businesses. Ultimately, Spotzer embraced a channel strategy — selling indirectly through telecoms, hosting companies and local media publishers that already had relationships with large quantities of small businesses. In that event, Spotzer wound up integrating its offerings onto a pair of competing “services automation” platforms that had grown to scale by making it easy for large enterprises serving SMBs to launch and maintain app stores featuring a wide range of third-party software products through a single, secure platform.

Inspired by the idea that the legal industry could benefit from a similar services automation platform, Andy went out to canvass technology experts. In looking for a way to quickly build a solution store and control panel to manage subscriptions, provisioning and telemetry of third-party legal apps, he discovered Docker (containers) and Kubernetes (container orchestration) – remarkable new technologies just hitting the mainstream and enabling cloud-based software to be written once and run anywhere.

Thus, the vision for Reynen Court crystalized. A consortium of major law firms would help influence application vendors to bring to market containerized, portable versions of their software; Reynen Court would build a single platform through which firms and legal departments could easily source and adopt new technologies without having to trust firm or client content to the growing universe of vertically integrated SaaS vendors.

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