Berlin tax app Taxfix takes over Stuttgart competitors

Martin Ott, CEO of Taxfix

Taxfix hired 200 people last year.

(Photo: Tobias Koch)

Berlin The Berlin tax start-up Taxfix swallows the competitor Steuerbot from Stuttgart and thus expands its market leadership. For Taxfix, it is the first takeover since it was founded in 2016. “We are the two most popular apps and have grown very strongly over the years,” says Taxfix boss Martin Ott of the Handelsblatt.

Ott has no plans to have Steuerbot disappear from the market. Instead, both products and brands should initially be operated side by side. The 45-year-old does not want to disclose financial details of the deal and only says: “The Steuerbot founders and the team will receive shares in Taxfix.”

The takeover of the much smaller competitor, which previously belonged to the Haufe Group, comes at a time when the mood in the industry is subdued. Technology companies like Zalando and Delivery Hero, but also start-ups like Infarm, have laid off hundreds of employees. In view of the turnaround in interest rates and the ongoing weakness in the economy, venture capitalists are much more reluctant to invest than they were during the corona pandemic.

The investor barometer drawn up by KfW and the BVK industry association fell by 25.6 points to minus 42.9 points in the final quarter. Many experts expect that the wave of takeovers is only just beginning. Getir’s acquisition of fast food delivery service Gorillas made headlines in December.

Ott von Taxfix takes the mood slump in the industry calmly: “We raised more than 200 million euros last year and are therefore very well financed.” With the cash injection that Taxfix lifted shortly after the start of the Ukraine war, the company valuation climbed over the prestigious threshold of a billion dollars. Since then, Taxfix has been known as a “unicorn” in technical jargon. Investors include Teachers’ Venture Growth (TVG), the venture capital arm of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) and Valar Ventures (Peter Thiel), Creandum and Redalpine, among others.

>> Read here: Tax return via app – How tools like Taxfix or Steuerbot can help

In contrast to other start-ups, the Berliners are currently continuing to grow. “We hired more than 200 employees last year and will continue to do so this year.” The tax fintech has more than 500 employees in total, including the 18 from Steuerbot.

Taxfix records more than five million downloads

Like most other young companies, Taxfix keeps its sales and profit figures under lock and key. The Taxfix app, which costs between 40 and 60 euros, has now been downloaded more than five million times in Germany, Italy and Spain. “We have now recovered two billion euros in tax refunds for our customers,” says Ott. On average, it is more than 1000 euros per customer. That counts for a lot, especially in view of the increased energy costs and the general price control.

Since it was founded in 2017, Steuerbot has paid 300 million euros to customers.

Listen to the first episode of Handelsblatt Deals here:

Taxfix has translated the tax forms, which are difficult to understand, into a simple questionnaire that users can usually answer on their cell phone or PC within around 20 minutes. Based on the data, Taxfix fills out the tax forms and sends them electronically to the tax office.

Similar to Steuerbot, the offer is particularly suitable for those who can make comparatively simple statements. In the meantime, the company also works with tax consultants who, on request, will take over the declaration in its entirety. In addition, Taxfix, like its competitors Zasta and Steuergott, offers a partial immediate payment of the expected tax refund.

In contrast to Taxfix, Steuerbot primarily relies on a chat with users. Artificial intelligence (AI) and language models controlled by it, such as ChatGPT, are not currently being used. “But of course we’re looking at it,” says Ott, but also names the challenges: “Especially with us, the expertise and complexity is enormous. This cannot be mapped with the current knowledge of a ChatGPT.”

More: Tax start-ups lure customers with immediate refunds

source site-12