Founded in 2004, Seattle-based Avalara works with companies including Zillow, Pinterest, and Roku, helping to automate many of the time-consuming processes involved in managing taxes in each market they operate.
Indeed, many governments around the world collect taxes based on where a service is consumed, rather than where the service provider is located, and keeping on top of what specific service is taxable, and at what rates, is important for running a legally compliant business. Throw into the mix the vast array of additional variables involved, such as whether a transaction is B2C or B2B, and things can get complicated pretty quickly for businesses that are looking to stay on the right side of local tax laws. And that is why Avalara provides a funnel into local tax databases, so its customers always have access to up-to-date information spanning sales and use tax, VAT and goods and service tax (GST), excise, and more.
The company had raised around $341 million ahead of its 2018 IPO, and like many companies in recent times, Avalara has undergone something of a “correction,” with its market cap falling by roughly 50% to $8 billion over the past 12 months.
However, Vista notes that its proposed share purchase price of $93.50 represents a premium of 27% on its closing share price of exactly a month ago — however, it’s worth noting that the price is marginally lower than the $95 closing price of last Friday.
Still, the $8.4 billion price tag is sizeable, and it’s reflective of a broader appeal that automated tax compliance software has in the investment sphere — German startup Taxdoo recently raising $64 million, while Ireland’s Fonoa locked down $60 million.
While the deal is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, Vista said that it expects the transaction to close before the end of 2022, after which Avalara will be a privately-held company.