Last month, Miami-based Taxfyle launched a more robust version of its app that makes it easier for consumers, freelancers and small businesses to file taxes. On Thursday, the technology startup announced it has raised seed financing to fund its growth through this tax season and beyond, including with the millions of consumers and businesses who have complex returns.
Taxfyle, a secure on-demand tax and accounting service, has closed a $2 million seed financing round from new investors Jeff Ransdell Group and Jonas Tempel of Beatport as well as existing investors.
“Taxfyle is solving a problem that directly impacts every person and small business here in the U.S. as well as expatriates abroad,” said Jeff Ransdell, investor and managing director of Rokk3r Fuel, a Miami-based venture capital firm, in a news release. “With a team led by smart executives from the world’s top financial institutions, the company’s model has already made a massive impact on how tax returns are being filed and will continue to impact the future of accounting.”
Taxfyle was co-founded by Richard Lavina, Michael Mouriz and Will Sahatdijan in August 2015. Today it is the top-ranked tax app in the App Store. It has grown its network to more than 700 Certified Public Accountants and Enrolled Agents. Taxfyle gives CPAs and EAs the opportunity to participate in the “gig economy” by building their own businesses or earning extra money by taking on accounting gigs on their own time.
We’ve handled everyone from recent college grads to multi-millionaires, to small business owners and freelancers. We find our product solves the most problems for those people who need a slightly more complex tax solution. Richard Lavina, CEO of Taxfyle
How TaxFyle works: Clients can submit jobs, are matched with licensed tax professionals, and then can chat, exchange documents and sign for their tax return, all on their mobile device or web browser.
“We started Taxfyle because we saw an entire segment of the population that needed expert tax services, but didn’t have the resources or time to hire a top-notch CPA or accounting firm,” said Lavina, Taxfyle’s CEO, adding that Taxfyle’s certified tax professionals have on average 14 years of experience and charge about 40 percent less than conventional tax services.
The first version of the app was largely a consumer version. Version 2.0 of the app launched last month “provides more agility and mobility to users,” said Lavina, who is a CPA. It includes a full-service web platform and extensive mobile capabilities including Apple Pay, Touch ID integrated with top financial institutions, including Fidelity, Bank of America, E*Trade, TD Bank, Charles Schwab, Chase, Merrill Lynch and others. The free app is available for Apple, Android and web users.
“We’ve handled everyone from recent college grads to multi-millionaires, to small business owners and freelancers. We find our product solves the most problems for those people who need a slightly more complex tax solution because of the quality of tax expert you have at the other end and the efficiency gained via this communications channel Taxfyle provides,” Lavina said, in a phone interview with the Miami Herald. As for costs, he said many freelancers can have their taxes done through TaxFyle for under $100, while a small business may pay $300 for business and personal taxes through Taxfyle.
This new round of funding will help Taxfyle expand its platform, said Mouriz, COO. Its full-time team is 10 people and growing, and it is currently interviewing for another developer, Mouriz said. Taxfyle has moved its office to Coconut Grove. .
In January, Taxfyle partnered with TaxAct, a technology-enabled financial-solutions product for consumers, small businesses and tax professionals. Through the partnership, Taxfyle is able to service consumers with more complex returns. The company has also signed marketing agreements with Postmates and Albert in its efforts to bring simple, on-demand expert accounting services to people who provide sharing economy services like hosting, car sharing, home/office delivery and other freelance services.
“In the case of Postmates, for example, their entire fleet has about 40,000 couriers, and they are all 1099 contractors,” Lavina said. “This is the year of the 1099er. [The U.S. has] more 1099ers than ever before. We want to alleviate the burden and take this off their workforce’s shoulders.”