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20YO Clueless Students Built A ₹6.4 Cr Revenue Legal Tech Business

Co-founded by three college students, Vikram Kumar, Pranjal Sinha and Akshetha Ashok, Sama is a 2015 legal tech startup based in Bangalore that resolves cases out of court swiftly and cost-effectively. 

By Bilal Khan
New Update
Sama co-founders - Vikram Kumar, Pranjal Sinha and Akshetha Ashok,

Sama co-founders - Vikram Kumar, Pranjal Sinha and Akshetha Ashok,

Driven by a strong desire to contribute to the nation, Vikram Kumar, 29, enrolled in Kolkata's West Bengal University of Technology to study Computer Science in 2012. 

However, He didn't have a definite plan to accomplish his objective.

He taught himself coding and began developing websites for businesses in Kolkata and his college, earning recognition within his college community and establishing trust among his peers.

"Given that my brothers serve in the navy and hailing from Bihar, where the aspiration to enter civil services and serve society is common among youth, I share a similar ambition. However, I lacked a concrete plan," shared Vikram, co-founder and COO of Sama. 

Vikram Kumar - Cofounder at Sama

Vikram Kumar - Cofounder at Sama

Fortune smiled upon Vikram when he was sent to IIM Kolkata by his college principal, where Google hosted an event in 2015. Here, Vikram discovered entrepreneurship, a concept that deeply fascinated him.

"I learned that investors support ideas that address real-world problems, which was a revelation," said the techie-turned-entrepreneur. 

At this event, Vikram met Pranjal Sinha, a final-year law student from NUJS with family roots in Ghaziabad. In conversation, Pranjal highlighted the backlog of cases in Indian courts and the protracted legal proceedings hindering justice, offering insight into the challenges faced. 

According to the data presented in the Lok Sabha, over five crore court cases are pending across various courts in the country, with 80,000 alone in the Supreme Court.

Eureka Moment:

It shocked Vikram; he wanted to do something for a positive change in India. 

Pranjal also wanted to do something that could tackle the issue of long pending cases. 

Raised by an entrepreneur mother, technically apt Pranjal thought to embark on the entrepreneurship journey with Vikram to address this pressing issue.

"It was a eureka moment for us. We decided to emulate the legal system but through our tech platform, to expedite the legal proceedings," recalled Vikram. 

In 2015, Sama was launched by Pranjal and Vikarm. 

What is Sama

It is a legal technology ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) company that offers a platform for government entities, businesses, and individuals to resolve disputes online. 

The platform primarily handles disputes related to family, matrimony, finance, employment, property, etc.

Discussing the process, Vikram explained that individuals and corporations upload their cases onto the Sama platform, where they get assigned to mediators or arbitrators through automation.

"We're able to resolve cases that typically take months or even years in just a few days or weeks through Sama," highlighted Bangalore-based ODR startup co-founder. 

Additionally, Sama issues certificates upon case closure, instilling trust among users.

Fee Structure:

As per the founders, the application focuses on resolving loans, insurance, and e-commerce.

In contrast to the substantial 31% legal expenses typically associated with court proceedings, Sama imposes a nominal fee based on the claim.

The fee structure is as follows:

- ₹ 1,000 for claims up to 1 lakh

- ₹ 1,500 for claims ranging from 1 lakh to 2 lakhs

- ₹ 2,000 for claims between 2 lakhs to 3 lakhs

- ₹ 4,000 for disputes involving 20 lakhs or more.

Initial Days of Sama:

Although the ODR startup business model sounds profitable, its initial journey wasn't easy as it started from a website. 

In 2015, the ambitious entrepreneur duo started developing a website (odrways.com, under ODRWAYS Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Incorporated in 2019.) However, the co-founders of Sama could not find cases to progress further due to a lack of clear direction.

Their breakthrough came in 2017 when Pranjal undertook a mediator course, discovering the potential of mediators in resolving cases extrajudicially. He compiled details of approximately 50 mediators for listing on their website to facilitate out-of-court settlements for individuals and corporations.

With a clearer understanding of their objectives, the duo encountered challenges, attracting cases to their platform. To overcome this hurdle, they held nukkad natak, participated in events and organised other promotional activities.

During one such performance, they crossed paths with Akshetha Ashok, 28, who embraced their vision and joined Sama as a co-founder. Akshetha, a former classmate of Pranjal, hails from Kerala and comes from a highly educated family background. She is a good singer too.

Akshetha Ashok with Pranjal Sinha and Akshetha Ashok - Co-founders at Sama

Akshetha Ashok with Pranjal Sinha and Akshetha Ashok - Co-Founders at Sama

The Stepping Stones for Sama:

Their persistence bore fruit in 2017 when they secured their first significant case in Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Dispute worth ₹ 400 crore, receiving an advance payment of ₹ 2 lakh. This milestone marked a turning point for the co-founders of Sama. 

"While Pranjal was still in college and didn't worry much about finances, I graduated in 2016. I relied on loans from friends and family. At one point, I had only ₹ 700 in my pocket, but every penny was invested back into our startup," recounted Vikram, COO and Co-founder. 

Facing adversity and scepticism, Vikram remained committed to addressing real-world challenges, drawing inspiration from their initial success.

Sama steadily gained momentum during the pandemic when their collaboration with state governments to resolve disputes under the Lok Adalat banner gained traction.

Their portfolio expanded to include cases ranging from crimes against women to financial and relationship disputes.

In 2019, the legal tech startup's reputation grew within legal and corporate circles after winning the ICICI-Agami challenge when the bank required a startup to resolve their cases out of court. 

Sama's journey from a fledgling startup to a leading ODR platform has been remarkable. From no cases in 2016 to handling 2+ crore cases by 2022, the Bangalore-based startup has witnessed exponential growth. 

With a dedicated team of engineers, lawyers, and thousands of mediators, they have emerged as pioneers in online dispute resolution. The startup has disposed of 34 lakh cases so far.  

Financial Journey of Sama:

The legal tech startup has been profitable since it clocked revenue of ₹ 1.5 crore in 2022. It grew 3x in 2023-24 to ₹ 6.4 crores. 

The startup aims to clock ₹ 1 crore in revenue per month in 2024-25 to cross ₹ 12 crore in revenue by the end of FY-25. 

Funding and Shark Tank India: 

Sama at Shark Tank India Season 3

Sama at Shark Tank India Season 3

Sama has successfully secured funding, including a ₹ 50 lakh investment from Campus fund in exchange for a 1% equity stake, valuing the company at ₹ 50 crore. Moreover, the co-founders recently presented their startup on Season 3 of Shark Tank India, where they struck a deal worth ₹ one crore against 1.5% equity of Sama with three shark investors: Aman Gupta, Namita Thapar, and Ritesh Agarwal. 

"We experienced a significant surge in website traffic following the Shark Tank India episode's airing. Within a mere week to 10 days, we observed a substantial increase in sales, even in categories where orders were previously scarce," revealed Vikram.

Sama Team

While Vikram looks after technology in Bangalore-based legal tech Sama startup, lawyer Akshetha looks after supply and legal community, while Pranjal looks after demand and business. 

Bangalore-based Sama hired its first employee, an engineer, in 2021. Since then, the team has expanded to 19 members of engineers and lawyers.

In addition to its core team of 19, Sama collaborates with approximately 3,000 to 4,000 mediators and arbitrators across India. 

Driven by their motto, "Suljhao Magar Pyaar Se" (Resolve it with love), Sama aims to foster trust and facilitate swift, fair, and cost-effective dispute resolution for individuals and businesses across India. 


When was Sama founded?

Sama is a legal tech startup based in Bangalore, founded in 2015 by three college students: Vikram Kumar, Pranjal Sinha, and Akshetha Ashok.

What does Sama offer?

Sama is a legal technology ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) company that provides a platform for resolving disputes online out of court. It handles cases of family, matrimony, finance, employment, property, and more.

What has been the Revenue of Sama?

Sama became profitable in 2022 and experienced significant revenue growth, aiming to reach ₹ 12 crore by the end of FY-25.

Sama on Shark Tank India? 

Sama has raised ₹ one crore from investors on Shark Tank India season 3. 

What is Sama's motto?

Sama's motto is "Suljhao Magar Pyaar Se" (Resolve it with love), emphasising trust and facilitating swift, fair, and cost-effective dispute resolution.