Founders Fund, the over-a-decade-old angel investing arm of legendary investor Peter Thiel has entered India in partnership with Sequoia, to invest in ClearTax — an online platform which helps customers with India’s complicated tax-filing system.
ClearTax had, just a couple of months back, secured another $1.3 Million in a seed round led by another PayPal co-founder, Max Levchin and Scott Banister — an early investor in both Facebook and Uber. Interestingly, Paytm-parent one97 is also a speculated investor, with close to $50K invested by the company last year. Now that is some serious backing the startup has !
Talking about the current series of investments ($3.3 Million in total) which the company has received, CEO Archit Gupta says,
We have taken the long route, and now we are extremely excited to have some of the biggest thought leaders and investors on board as our partners. We are an instrument-agnostic platform that will allow consumers to choose their rate of return and select what to have in their tax savings basket.
Founded in 2011 by Archit Gupta, his chartered accountant father Raja Ram Gupta, Srivatsan Chari and Ankit Solanki, ClearTax was one of the first India-focused and India-HQed startup to be backed by Y-Combinator. Its aim is to delight customers with simplicity, accuracy and getting rid of the notion that taxes are complex.
The platform helps Individuals file their tax returns online via their website. On the website, users upload their Form-16 PDF and the ClearTax software prepares the tax return automatically. As per the company, it processed tax return e-filings for over 3,00,000 individuals in assessment year 2014-15 and in the year 2015-16, around 1 million users filed their returns using the website.
Earlier this year, the company launched ClearTDS.com, a one-stop solution for start-ups dealing with TDS returns filing, form generation and correction. It auto-imports all deductor/deductee details through Conso file/TRACES and can generate multiple Form-16s within minutes, thus saving time and costs.
According to Gupta, ClearTax has over 1 million consumers e-filing their tax returns, and the company is targeting bringing on board 5 million users by the end of the current fiscal. And to give you more astounding numbers, the company is targeting to clock a massive $1 Billion worth of transactions for the same duration.
For Peter thiel’s Founders Fund, this is their first India investment in the fund’s decade old history. Just a couple of months back, FF closed a fresh investment worth $1.3 billion. This is the company’s sixth fund which brings its total capital worth to over $3 billion.
Founded in 2005 by Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, Ken Howery and Sean Parker, the firm aims to aid entrepreneurs pursuing major scientific and technological breakthroughs in rather unconventional domains.
The firm has, until now, invested in major and minor companies in the sectors of aerospace, artificial intelligence, advanced computing, energy, healthcare, materials science, robotics, therapeutics, consumer Internet and more. It’s biggest investments until now include Airbnb, Oscar, Palantir Technologies, SpaceX, Stemcentrx and Stripe.