Same TaxJar; New Path Forward

by Mark Faggiano January 9, 2019

We’re thrilled to announce we’ve closed a $60M round of financing with Insight Venture Partners. Having raised a small amount of money before now, this is a significant moment for TaxJar for a number of reasons. This post is about why we took this meaningful step, and how this is great news for our employees, our customers and the future for all of us together.

How did we get here?

Here’s the biggest lesson the last five years have taught me — an unrelenting focus on building the very best sales tax product on the market is all that matters if we want to succeed.
We’ve been profitable now for 2.5 years. To create a company that was built to last, we had to be capital efficient. We couldn’t be beholden to continuous rounds of financing to keep the lights on while taking away our focus from making eCommerce easier for everyone. As a result, we’ve been able to build a product that customers love and recommend to their friends.
Our focus on execution put us in a position where we could choose how we approached our future as a company. We are a healthy, fast-growing company that doesn’t need funding to survive. Raising money wasn’t on our radar because it never had to be.
That changed when the level of serious interest in TaxJar grew in ways we never anticipated. All of our hard work had created options for the company — options that we felt had the potential to make meaningful impact to our customers and our employees and we owed it to both to make a careful consideration.
Knowing that we could continue on the same path growing a profitable business ourselves, we were very clear with any potential partner that there were, and always will be, some non-negotiables for us:

  • our culture
  • remaining 100% remote
  • taking care of the team
  • putting our customers first, and
  • retaining control of the future of TaxJar

If we could ensure we delivered on those core needs while being able to accelerate on our goals and company mission, then we’d have a pretty amazing opportunity to consider.
What’s really exciting is that we found a partner who not only provides an unparalleled level of resources and support, but they believe in TaxJar’s values we mentioned above. Our partnership with Insight Venture Partners is the best of both worlds. The value this brings to our employees and our customers is game-changing, and the ability to drive meaningful growth with a partner that understands our mission is why we chose to take on this investment.

We did this for our current and future customers

As we’ve talked about in previous posts, we’re fanatical about our customers. When we decided to take on an investment, we certainly thought through the impact this will have on the more than 16,000 businesses who use TaxJar today and the 100s of thousands that will be using us moving forward.
Insight’s proven record in SaaS and eCommerce (with investments in companies like Shopify, Automattic, Chargebee, and more) combined with the resources that they offer their portfolio companies (called Onsite), allows us to learn quicker and move faster on tackling the challenges ahead.
To put it simply, we can now do more. Faster. For you.
TaxJar can continue to invest in improving the customer experience and even the ways that you interact with TaxJar before you become a customer. We can deliver more education to those just starting out with sales tax compliance. We can provide more tools to help eCommerce merchants make confident decisions so they can get back to focusing on their business. We’ll craft the right content that helps you run your business smoothly, and we’ll continue to always be the best resource in sales tax, period.
Our product will only get better. We can accommodate the increasing complexity of economic nexus and constantly-changing laws faster. We can double-down on what’s already the most fanatical customer support team in our industry. And our team of mind-boggling developers will continue to push the limits on automation and scale.
We’ll be able to support more complex businesses as we expand our TaxJar Plus service so that mid-market and large companies can choose TaxJar to handle their sales tax. We know what we need to do in order to solve bigger and messier sales tax problems, and now we’ll be able to do that sooner than we thought possible.
Along with this growth, we aim to improve TaxJar for all customers of any size. We built our business providing affordable sales tax automation for SMBs and that’s not changing. From education, to support, to the basics of how TaxJar works for you, we’re always focused on improving TaxJar for everyone.  That is our promise.
Our customers will continue to be supported by the best team. We’ll hire even more employees who are dedicated to our amazing customers and who can contribute to our mission. Our 100% remote model means we’re not limited by the talent available in a single geographic location, instead, future employees of TaxJar are all over this country (and perhaps for us we’ll have the ability to look across the globe now). We’re not concerned with where they live or how they get their work done. All we care about is they do their very best work for our customers and be the type of people the rest of the team gets excited to work with every day.

This is meaningful to TaxJar employees

We’re so grateful to be able to deliver on our dream that the equity every single employee owns would one day really be worth something. We know that this is rare, and it makes me extremely proud as CEO to be able to deliver on my pitch that what we were doing together is special (as well as valuable).

More importantly, our employees will continue to share in ownership of something we all believe can be a lot bigger. There is almost infinite opportunity in our space. This means we can all continue to share in the future upside that we’ll continue working hard to achieve.
At TaxJar, we’re just getting started on making meaningful change for eCommerce businesses and we’re confident that this partnership set us on the path to becoming the #1 sales tax solution in the world.

Where do we go from here?

While I was never one to spend time thinking about raising a round of funding, when the right partner and opportunity came knocking, we had to answer the door (even if it was just to see who it was).  Our business and the sales tax world is constantly changing, and we’re thrilled to take on this investment to further establish TaxJar as a leader in our space. We now have ample resources and the right partner to make a meaningful difference saving hours and headaches for business, developers and CPAs everywhere,and we can’t wait to deliver on this opportunity.
We’re creating something truly special that changes the way not only people do business, but also the way they work. So come join us!

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