‘The Uber for taxes’ is on pace for nearly 300% growth this year
Founding a startup and working as an accountant are on opposite ends of the risk spectrum. 90% of startups fail, while there is a “growing shortage” of CPAs.
Native Miamian Richard Laviña breaks the mold. He is the CEO of Taxfyle, a venture capital-backed startup based in Miami’s Coconut Grove that develops tech products and services to make tax filing easier and more affordable for corporations and consumers alike. Previously, he was an accountant at PwC, auditing some of the largest companies in the US.
“The first four and a half years of a startup are stressful,” Laviña told Refresh Miami. In those tough times, Laviña explained that he took solace in the wisdom of venture capitalist Ben Horowitz: “If you’re not up at night with your stomach churning, figuring things out, then you’re not really shooting your shot. You’ve got to put everything on the line to make your company.”
Laviña underscored that “reward comes with the risk.”
“What I’ve experienced is that risk and reward really are proportional,” Laviña continued. “That’s what grounded me and helped me transition from an accountant to a tech startup founder.”
It’s safe to say that Laviña is now reaping the rewards of his years in the startup grind. Alongside co-founders Will Sahatdjian (CTO) and Michael Mouriz (COO), the company reports exponential growth. “We’re on pace to do almost 300% in 2021,” said Laviña. They were recently featured on the Inc 5000, a list of the fastest growing companies in the US, for the second time. In 2018, the company closed a Series A round led by Miami’s own Fuel VC.
Taxfyle has products for businesses as well as individuals. For individuals, Laviña describes Taxfyle as “Uber for taxes.” Consumers can log on to Taxfyle’s site and in 90 seconds or less get connected with a qualified tax professional to sort out their tax filings. Laviña said that Taxfyle competes on price and quality, on top of their digital-first experience. That’s a far cry from a dingy strip-mall accountancy firm, which Laviña noted in many cases might not even employ licensed CPAs or IRS enrolled agents (as are all the experts on Taxfyle’s platform).
The B2B play, however, is the major source of revenue for Taxfyle. Big-name companies take advantage of Taxfyle’s platform to deal with increased demand around tax time. It is a good deal for these clients because they can gain access to high-quality tax professionals whenever they need them without requiring a full-time employee.
On the flip side, Laviña argued that it’s a good deal for the tax professionals because they can make good money working Taxfyle on nights and weekends. He reports that some of the platform’s 3,600 tax preparers have even left their day jobs to work on Taxfyle full-time.
Up next for Taxfyle is continued growth. Laviña expects to grow his 70-person core team to 100. And he’s proud to run a company that’s Miami through and through: “I went to an all-boys high school here, and then stayed here for college after that, at the University of Miami. I’ve always loved this place.”
In need of a tax guru to keep you in the IRS’s good graces? Check out Taxfyle.com.
Photo at top of post: From left Taxfyle co-founders Will Sahatdjian (CTO), Richard Lavina (CEO) and Michael Mouriz (COO). Photos provided by Taxfyle.
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