Founded in 2021, Dastawezz is a legal services startup based in Gurgaon with a nationwide operational reach.
Dastawezz is managed and headed by its 25-year-old founder, Shivanjali Malik, who has an LLB degree from the renowned Gujarat National Law University.
During her legal education, Malik garnered practical experience through numerous internships in both large corporate offices and smaller legal chambers.
The Journey – From Law Student to Entrepreneur
Upon graduating in 2020, Shivanjali Malik faced the challenges of a hiring freeze caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite receiving offers from top legal firms, she couldn’t join them because the companies weren’t taking in the new joinees.
In a conversation with Startup Pedia, Shivanjali says, “There was a lot of uncertainty at that point but I chose not to succumb to it. I decided to start providing legal assistance and services to companies on a retainer basis.”
She started working with multiple small companies and expanding her network.
Identifying a Crucial Gap
In 2021, as Shivanjali Malik observed her client base expanding, she identified a major market gap.
Tier 1 law firms predominantly catered to larger corporations with a lot of financial spending capabilities, leaving a notable void for small startups seeking quality legal services.
“This gap left small startups with only one choice – to reach out to inexperienced litigation lawyers who weren’t really qualified enough to deliver the specific services they needed”, Shivanjali says.
This gap compelled her to establish Dastawezz in 2021, aiming to provide comprehensive legal support to startups in a pocket-friendly price.
To establish Dastawezz, Shivanjali initiated outreach to top legal professionals within her network and from her alma mater.
The initial investment, Rs 25,000, derived from her internship earnings, was utilized to develop a website and create a social media presence. “I purchased a domain on GoDaddy. It was just the starting, but since we were working remotely, having an online presence was important”, She added.
The early days of Dastawezz were marked by challenges and skepticism, particularly due to Shivanjali Malik’s age. She was then 22 when she started.
Undeterred, she employed various outreach strategies, including cold emails, Clubhouse discussions, and direct messaging, engaging with over 1700 startup founders and providing free legal advice to build a clientele.
She strategically brought in seasoned lawyers with significant experience, contributing to the robustness of Dastawezz’s legal services.
Dastawezz initially focused on providing legal services to startups but later expanded its offerings to include Chartered Accountancy (CA) and Company Secretary (CS) services.
This evolution has transformed Dastawezz into a comprehensive service provider, collaborating with over 100 lawyers and CA and CS professionals.
Local lawyers collaborate with the startup’s clients, representing their legal interests.
The first consultation call in Dastawezz is free of cost. The prices of legal services have been kept in an affordable range so that the gap between legal aid and young startups can be mitigated.
Today, Dastawezz offers a comprehensive array of services, encompassing:
- Registration and Licensing: Facilitating the seamless process of registration and licensing for startups.
- Agreement Drafting and Vetting: Skillfully crafting and reviewing agreements, including Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), with insightful advisory services.
- Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): Providing expertise in Intellectual Property Rights, covering patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
- Litigation Matters: Extending legal support in matters of litigation, ensuring robust representation for startup and companies.
- Taxation and GST Filings: Managing taxation affairs and ensuring compliance, including the meticulous handling of Goods and Services Tax (GST) filings.
- Fundraising Processes: Guiding startups through the intricacies of fundraising, involving term sheets, equity structure, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), and adept negotiation support.
- Investor Collaboration: Collaborating with investors by offering advice on suitable startup investments and conducting thorough due diligence on their behalf.
Growth and Expansion
Started as a one-person company, Dastawezz now operates with 7 full-time members working in the in-house marketing and IT teams.
Dastawezz has made substantial strides since its inception, offering services to over 250 startups and companies across India and six other countries. The startup has particularly left its mark in industries such as cryptocurrency, blockchain, skincare, and real estate.
Recently, Dastawezz added Ernst & Young to its clientele.
According to Shivanjali Malik, Dastawezz has been generating revenue since its inception and is profitable, underscoring its financial viability.
The startup strategically markets its services across social media, focusing on educational sessions and organic content to engage its audience.
Looking ahead, Dastawezz envisions expansive growth.
Shivanjali Malik aims to expand her startup globally, with plans to secure international clients and explore a franchise model for further scalability.