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Inside Venture Capital (Jun 13th, 2019)

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Today's Goldilocks Feature is open to all readers. Scroll down to check it out!

  1. Setting the Salesforce/Tableau Acquisition in Context: Redpoint Ventures’ managing director Tomasz Tunguz (ThredUp) begins his analysis by noting the other recent big-ticket business intelligence M&A.
  2. Fundraising 101: Do VC associates matter?: Extra Crunch tries to demystify first and foremost what they actually are and do.
  3. Silicon Valley's Van-Dwellers: Bloomberg reports on the sorry state of Valley real estate. (Audio)
  4. Today’s Goldilocks features Hank Moonen, founder of Dutch international tax software provider TaxModel. Hank talked to us about raising his latest funding, competing with the big tax advisors, and more.
  5. Gympass (Brazil), corporate gym membership offerings: $300M led by Softbank, participation from General Atlantic, Valor, Atomico.
  6. KnowBe4 (Tampa Bay, FL), security awareness training and  phishing simulation platform: $300M led by KKR, participation from Elephant, TenEleven Ventures. Garnered $1B valuation.
  7. Adjust (Berlin, Germany), analytics/fraud prevention/cybersecurity suite for mobile apps: $227M from Eurazeo Growth, Highland Europe, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Sofina.
  8. Symphony (Palo Alto, CA), communication app for traders: $165M E from Standard Chartered, MUFG Innovation Partners, et al. Was valued at $1.4B
  9. Today’s top funding category is Enterprise for $586,500,000 raised over six deals.
  10. To unlock the content below (35 more rounds, the Goldilocks feature, and the funding breakdown) upgrade to Inside Premium.
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Today's VC Reads topics include the most recent monster M&A, problems in Silicon Valley housing, and more.

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Funded companies today include an animal feed efficiency platform, an analog AI provider, and more.

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Hank Moonen

TaxModel combines advisory services with innovative technology that deals with global tax complexities. In order to achieve Tax Advisory 2.0, we continuously embed in-house tax expertise into software. Each solution we release to the market is developed based on the highest technology standards and aims to make tax workflows transparent and manageable for all companies. Check out TaxModel at tax-model.com/solutions

1. What was the inspiration for TaxModel? Were there any personal situations you encountered that gave you the idea, or was the reasoning something you saw in the market?

The inspiration for starting TaxModel was the recognition that many tax workflows performed by tax professionals have an unbalanced cost-benefit ratio, are highly repetitive, are vulnerable to human errors and lack data analysis. Besides the obvious benefits, it is my belief that tax directors and tax advisors should be(come) a sparring partner of various in-house stakeholders/decision makers. Software facilitates such interactions. Finally, the current curriculum of tax students does not include technology hence all graduates today are not ready to deal with technology. my promise is that, when we have successfully completed our tax suite, we will offer students (at student rates) training and certification to work with our tools before they enter the job market.  

2. You just raised a $1.15M Series A funding round, what were you looking for with your new funding? How has your business plan changed with the fresh capital?

We invest 100 percent of our funding in people for our latest tool development, TPdoc, as well as the scale-up of TaxModel in terms of marketing, sales and customer service.

3. Did you find the investors you were looking for, or did you find funding in an unexpected place?

We found the right investor for us, technology-wise, size-wise and able to offer us their best practices.

4. How did you pitch your company? - What were the metrics you were most inclined to put forward, which did you think didn’t show you in such a good light?

Using pitch desks outlining the “Why? How? What?”, showing our tools and also detailing the scale-up possibility. We are able to show a very significant interest in our tools with the largest targets in the tax industry; the difficulty in mainly to indicate the sales conversion timeline as well as the uncertainty that some major target suddenly freeze or slow down the decision making. 

5. Were there any ‘I can’t believe that just happened’ moments during your pitches? Was there a moment when you knew that an investor was going to make an offer?

Not really, I was convinced that we would get funding from a (smart) investor.

6. What are TaxModel’s expansion plans? What sort of projections do you have for the short and long terms, both in terms of team building and services?

Depending on the success we will build multiple scrum teams for new SaaS-based products and expanding and professionalizing our customer service. On top of that, we will invest in premium sales partners globally and/or set up our own global sales network. We are in phase 1 where we build international tax tools that do the (compliance) job. Next step is to add the business insight to assist clients to get in control of what data is provided in all compliance efforts and the final phase is where we use big data and analytics to start predicting/pre-empting tax workstreams. 

7. What do you feel like your competition is? What sort of plans do you have to further distinguish yourself from other startups?

Our competition is twofold. The first part includes very large historical organizations such as the Big 4, Thomson Reuters, Wolter Kluwer, Oracle, SAP, etc. that offer tax solutions which are all aiming at ERP integration and thus only affordable by the happy few customers. TaxModel wants to stay away from ERP integration because we want help all multinationals and all tax professionals especially the ones that have little budget to spend on tax software. The second part of our competitors consists of boutique firms that have built one solution. We are different in that we already have a full direct tax suite of products. We are also not scared to disclose on-line our products in full and also the (low) prices. This is where we want to be disruptive .. share intel for free, build the most beautiful products at unbeatable prices.

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Today's funding was divided into 10 categories.

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Inside VC's writer/curator Stephen currently lives in Berlin and is pursuing a Master's degree in philosophy. He otherwise enjoys cooking Indian/Southeast Asian cuisine, received his Bachelors in NYC, and lived almost two years in Bucharest.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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