Taxdoo, a startup that has built what it calls an “automated platform for financial compliance” aimed at cross-border e-commerce companies, has raised $21 million in new funding.
Leading the Series A round is venture capital firm Accel, with participation from Visionaries Club, 20VC and existing investor HTGF. The funding will be invested in Taxdoo’s growth — including international expansion– increased hiring, R&D, sales, and customer support. Accel’s Harry Nelis has joined the Taxdoo board.
The inclusion of Harry Stebbings’ 20VC is noteworthy, as the podcaster-turned-VC originally said his micro fund was targeting U.S. startups across various stages, and therefore there wasn’t any perceived conflict with his role as a partner at European VC Stride. Taxdoo is based out of Hamburg, Germany. “20VC essentially invests largely in the U.S. but can also invest where Stride does not, anywhere in Europe outside of the U.K. and Paris,” clarified Stebbings in a WhatsApp message.
Founded in May 2016, after its three founders — Christian Koenigsheim, Matthias Allmendinger, and Roger Gothmann — finished their PhDs in finance at the University of Hamburg, Taxdoo wants to use automation to meet the tax and compliance burden faced by cross-border e-commerce companies that sell on various marketplaces and platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Shopify. This sees those businesses facing increasing complexity around VAT, accounting and other compliance requirements, with data siloed across multiple online systems.
Taxdoo brings that data into a single place and then uses its own tech to automate transaction-level data ingestion, tax calculation and filings across Europe. Customers can also collaborate with their tax advisors through the platform and reduce other compliance burdens, including Intrastat filings.
“While it has become easier and easier to sell products across borders in Europe from a marketing and logistics standpoint, the resulting compliance obligations – like accounting or VAT – are a nightmare for sellers,” Taxdoo’s Christian Koenigsheim tells me.
“Handling these issues manually using spreadsheets is a recipe for disaster. To solve this problem, we’ve used our in-house expertise to automate the entire process – from the collection of data to the filing of VAT returns in different countries and the integration of transactions into the seller’s accounting system”.
Koenigsheim says a typical Taxdoo customer sells products on different marketplaces and their own shop, with annual revenues of around €5-10 million. “Our largest customers are global consumer brands with annual revenues of €150 million and above,” he says.
Examples include D2C brands like air up and YFood or e-commerce companies OmniDeal and sellvin. “Among others, we partner with tax professionals, ERP systems, and e-commerce agencies to help them handle these complex issues for their clients,” adds Koenigsheim.
“Our secret sauce is that we automate the entire workflow from end-to-end. This starts with the aggregation of data from different channels like marketplaces, shops, and ERP systems using our automated connectors. Our system [then] analyses data under all applicable regulations and prepares the required returns across the EU, which are filed by an international network of tax partners using a convenient software solution created by us”.
Taxdoo data can also be exported to a seller’s accounting system, enabling them to more easily collaborate with local tax advisors.
Meanwhile, the addressable market is growing fast, in part helped by accelerated digitisation during the pandemic and the growth of e-commerce. Taxdoo cites data showing that cross-border transactions now represents approximately 25% of total e-commerce transactions in Western Europe and Scandinavia, and is rising.
Cue statement from Accel’s Harry Nelis: “With a booming e-commerce landscape and companies of all sizes looking to sell their products and services internationally, we see an acute need for integrated financial and tax compliance. Taxdoo’s founders bring together unique experience at the intersection of tax, finance and software and we are excited to work with them to build Taxdoo into a category defining company”.