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Tax Tim, the online income tax calculator, has reportedly received investment from Exponential, the new innovation unit set up by JSE-listed financial services giant MMI holdings.
The new unit launched earlier this week with the aim of seeking out startups that have used innovation to improve people’s financial wellness.
At this stage, details of the investment are thin on the ground, with neither of the parties having announced it through their official channels at the initial time of writing.
Update: Ventureburn has received an official release from MMI, providing more details around the investment.
According to the release, the Exponential funding has allowed founders Marc Sevitz and Evan Robinson to move the company into permanent premises and expanded its team to bring in expertise across the business areas.
“Until now, being a start-up, Evan and I have had to manage the strategic growth of the business, while simultaneously working in the business too – we did everything,” says Sevitz. “This meant some key areas of focus didn’t receive the level of attention they needed and we both longed for a day where we would have additional hands on deck. It feels great to be able to discuss ideas with our new team, in a formal office setting, with their fresh perspectives. We are proud to have generated a substantial return for our early stage investors, demonstrating the value of being part of entrepreneurial development programmes such as Knife Capital’s Grindstone.”
“We are incredibly excited about the growth opportunity enabled by Exponential,” says Robinson. “Their strategic thinking is two steps ahead of most and will prove invaluable as our business heads into a high growth phase this year. In addition to capital, we are also most fortunate to have access to the additional distribution opportunities offered by their existing client base, allowing us to scale faster.”
No further details around the value or terms of the investment have been given.
Launched in 2011, TaxTim is an approachable, virtual tax assistant who helps you complete your tax return by asking you simple questions in a number of South Africa’s official languages.
The company was founded when Robinson, a programmer with a biotechnology and biochemistry master’s degree at the University of Cape Town expressed frustration at having to take his tax forms to Sevitz, a chartered accountant — ex-KPMG and Totalserve — with local and international tax experience.
After being accepted into Google’s Umbono programme, the company received a small amount of angel funding Justin Stanford of 4Di Capital, Permjot Valia and a private investor, and then a second round from other private investors.
Since 2014, TaxTim users have been able to file their returns directly into the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS). In 2015 meanwhile, it expanded its operations into Namibia through a joint venture with PwC Namibia.
The company has reportedly helped some 2-million people file their taxes since launch.