Almost half of the 20,000 US companies created on Stripe’s Atlas incorporation platform alone (of which almost 10,000 were formed in the year leading up to June 2021) were created by non-US-based founders. In helping these founders (and those based in the US) navigate the US regulatory environment, human chat-based US CPA SaaS product Inkle is today announcing a $1.5 million pre-seed funding round to help these companies handle bookkeeping, tax, and compliance filings through its software solution for US cross-border companies. Picus Capital, Saison Capital and Force Ventures participated in the funding round.
Cross-border companies with a US parent holding company often struggle with back-office administration. The Big Four are too expensive, and smaller CPA firms are not able to cover everything or use the legacy solutions and rely on email, Google Drives and third-party generic tools to meet the growing regulatory demands. As a result, small cross-border companies are left in a grossly underserved market with slow, expensive, disorganized, often unresponsive and unaffordable service providers. It also leaves gaps, requiring customers to patch together several consultants and solutions. Add multiple entities and time-zone issues, and it quickly becomes chaotic, resulting in missed deadlines and an unnecessary management burden.
Inkle was co-founded in late 2021 by British entrepreneur Anand Krishna after experiencing the tedious headache of managing tax and bookkeeping for several US entities which he had launched, and Ranvir Singh joined him in 2022. In creating an efficient approach to regulatory demands, Anand felt human chat was the need of the day. Inkle is an asynchronous human chat platform that combines a strong accounting outsourcing industry (based in India), with an English-speaking workforce, cost arbitrage, and SaaS engineering know-how - creating the perfect ingredients to address a major pain point.
Anand was most recently the Co-Founder & CEO of Index, a personal finance mobile app company which was acquired in 2021 by Tencent-backed Niyo. Prior to this, he co-founded a Y Combinator-backed fintech company having spent a decade at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Vedanta Resources Group.
Ranvir Singh was the first employee at Inkle and has recently been appointed Co-Founder & CTO, having architected the Inkle tech stack. Previously he was at Paytm where he helped build and scale Paytm Chat to tens of millions of users.
Inkle CEO and Co-Founder, Anand Krishna commented: “Just over a year into our journey, and despite us starting during the pandemic and a global recession, hundreds of US companies onboarded and are now happier with our human chat-based approach to handling their back-office headaches; our CPA teams are delighted with 10x new business volumes without a need to hire extra staff or put any effort into acquiring customers; and we’ve built a dominant position in one focused corridor with solid revenue growth. And yet the customer now gets to pay less than ever before. It’s a win-win-win situation. Software will revolutionise this massive space, which is perfect for disruption by Inkle - building and delivering from right here in Bengaluru for the world. We’re delighted to partner with our first investors to prove we can do the same in other corridors now.
Inkle’s full-stack software and collaborative features creates a scalable, on-demand and affordable back office for global companies. It is powered by highly experienced independent US-licensed, India-based CPA teams with decades of global accounting and tax experience. These are independent practitioner-led outsourced teams who are able to rapidly scale up on demand.
Customers can manage and track their filings from anywhere. The platform offers asynchronous human chat with bookkeepers and CPAs and clear dashboards with deadline alerts, team collaboration, secure corporate document vault, and transparent billing. Inkle’s newly launched bookkeeping ledger - Inkle Books - fills a glaring gap by synching to bank feeds on one side and recognised accounting softwares on the other. This gap frustrates bookkeepers and Inkle solves this by introducing transaction-level clarification human chat, merchant recognition and categorisation, attachment automation, transaction-level tax monitoring, a global compliance rule engine and more.
The majority of Inkle customers have multiple group entities in various countries, Inkle Books tracks the various intercompany money movements inside the group: transfer pricing, foreign direct investment and royalty, as well as handling complex group consolidation. Inkle also facilitates compliances such as registered agent, mailroom, and state, federal and cross-border regulatory reporting. For its independent CPA team partners on the backend, Inkle superpowers them with advanced practice management and workflow solutions, replacing their reliance on Google Sheets and email. Both the customer and CPA softwares are constantly evolving their modern fresh SaaS interface to seamlessly connect all three sides.
Inkle, which was bootstrapped and in stealth until now, has grown revenues 7x in the last year to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Inkle has quietly built a strong leadership position in the US-India corridor (half of all YC companies in India, 3% of all YC companies globally and hundreds of US companies overall use Inkle today). Inkle is now expanding into new corridors such as US-Canada, US-LATAM and new sectors such as crypto taxes. Customers include leading tech companies such as Salesken, Mailmodo, Zoko and DriveTrain.
Florian Reichert (Partner and Managing Director at Picus Capital), added, “Given the obligatory nature and zero default requirements in accounting, tax and compliance software tooling is a major customer need and hence also in the current economic climate indispensable. With its full-stack SaaS offering Inkle sits at the intersection of customers, CPAs, accounting tools and authorities clearly making workflows more efficient and less error-prone. We are impressed by what Anand and the team has built in a very lean manner and are thrilled to be supporting Anand on his journey to revolutionize how cross-border companies manage their accounting, taxes and compliance."
Inkle is a global tax and accounting SaaS startup based in Bengaluru, India and headquartered in Delaware, USA. Inkle provides software to enable US companies created by overseas founders to easily and affordably handle tax, accounting and compliance.
About Picus Capital
Picus Capital is an international, privately financed venture capital company with headquarters in Munich and offices in New York, Beijing, Berlin, London, Bangalore, Stockholm and São Paulo. Picus predominantly invests in Pre-Seed, Seed and Series A rounds and focuses on technology companies in financial services, HR, energy & climate, healthcare, logistics & mobility, real estate & construction, crypto & web3, deeptech and e-commerce. As an entrepreneurial sparring partner, Picus Capital pursues a long-term investment philosophy and supports founders from the ideation phase to the IPO and beyond. For further information please visit www.picuscap.com and LinkedIn.
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