April 30, 2024 | 4 minutes read

Founder Spotlight – Gila Hayat


Founder Spotlight
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Entrée Capital Team

Entrée Capital’s “Founder Spotlight” series is a collection of video and written blogs that aim to highlight some of the inspiring founders in our portfolio and to share some of the lessons that they’ve learned along the way. 

In this Founder Spotlight, we spoke to Gila Hayat, the Co-Founder and CTO of Darrow.


What does your company do, and what problem does it solve for your target audience in one sentence?

Darrow leverages AI and human intelligence to uncover egregious violations across legal domains spanning privacy and data breach, consumer protection, securities and financial fraud, environmental justice, and employment.

How did you come up with Darrow’s idea, and what inspired you to pursue it?

I’ve always been intrigued by the dynamics of impact-driven companies that seek to reconcile the objectives of ”doing good” while also “doing well” (aka: making a profit). I met Evya and he presented me with a social problem in the world; namely, the fact that many legal violations go unnoticed every day. When I listened to him describe the problem, I realized that it is actually a risk management problem that can be solved by intelligence tech solutions. I also spotted an incredible opportunity to change the world for good, as well as a huge market gap with a potentially lucrative business model. I was inspired by the idea of creating a world where legal data flows freely, and all legal violations are addressed. The core idea here is to create tech that enables trust in our social system – a platform that will strengthen our democracy.

Did you ever think or feel that you would become an entrepreneur one day? Is there a reason for this?

As a kid, I dreamt of becoming a theater director. I also thought that I might develop a military career or perhaps become a teacher. I was a classic theater kid and never touched code before my military service, and so I never thought (or was even aware) of the possibility of starting a company as a CTO. However, the constant thread in my story was a desire to create something impactful that lasts.

Can you pinpoint key milestones in your entrepreneurial journey and how they shaped your business?

When Darrow was just 10 employees, I threw an improv session for the company. We realized that building a team meant we needed to play together as a team. When you build a company, you need to first build the company’s culture. We all took our shoes off, played music, and played games from improv theater to try and understand, together, what we want to do in the world. The main improv game we played is “yes, and” – that suggests that an improviser should accept what another improviser has stated and then expand on that line of thinking. We are now 100 employees and still people say “yes and” in Darrow’s corridors, and they don’t even know where it came from. It was a small and fun moment of culture shaping that impacted the way we think and work together, until today.

What is your vision for Darrow’s future and any exciting developments?

Only exciting developments! We are changing the legal landscape to promote justice, one product at a time:
We recently launched PlaintiffLink, a platform to connect victims of injustice with legal representation.
Our Research Team just came back from the EACL conference, where they presented LegalLens, our recent paper that leverages LLMs for legal violation identification in unstructured text.

And we are hiring and growing and looking for great people to join our journey!

Work-life balance for you is…

I do qi gong twice a week; I get to spend quality time with my mom; I code with my friends on things that are important to me (look up the Dykathon!); my partner knows what I am doing at my job and she talks about it proudly with her friends; I get to work with the most intelligent people every day… so all together, my life balance is my work.

Why Entrée?

Eran Bielski is honestly not a regular investor. He’s a justice fighter. The first time we met him, he explained how mad he got when he found out his phone bill was out of whack. Second time we met him he explained that he was about to send a complaint to the Israel Ministry of Communications. Third time we met, we knew we had to work with him. Eran is Entrée for us, and we admire his passion for doing the future justice.

To learn more about Darrow visit: darrow.ai