[BearTax Team: We’re thrilled to announce that BearTax has been acquired by Tela Andrews, a veteran of Avalara! Curious about who Tela is? Let’s hear from him..]
Today is an exciting day for BearTax. In 2018, Vamshi Vangapally and his friends founded the company, in the days immediately after the IRS clarified that crypto is taxable. They knew that it would be a challenge to accurately calculate the cost basis and tax on crypto, and that this pain would increase as the adoption of crypto spread. Today, complexity in the crypto landscape is accelerating, and the tax complexity along with it. They needed an experienced leader to take the next step. When I met the founders just a few weeks ago and got to know the business, it was clear that we were a perfect fit. Let me explain why that’s surprising.
I spent four years at Avalara, where I lead the flagship U.S. sales tax product through key phases of growth including Series C, Series D, and IPO. I was deeply involved in expansion into international markets. And I got to touch most areas of the business at Avalara, learning what it really takes to build and scale a tax software business. It turns out, that’s kind of a niche thing to know how to do. Since leaving Avalara in 2018, I’ve helped other large-scale tax software businesses.
The first surprise is, I didn’t set out to get into tax software. I’m not a CPA or an accountant. I went to school for architecture and had to drop out because I couldn’t afford school, but I worked as a draftsman. Turns out I wasn’t a super talented building designer, so I moved into software and marketing at Yahoo!, where I fell in love with products built on data.
I continued in marketing and building marketing products for 10 years, before realizing what I actually like to build are products and businesses that use data to help people at scale. I experienced the challenges of sales tax myself, and I realized that at their most fundamental, taxes and marketing are opposites of the same problem: Growth, and anti-growth. I joined Avalara because I could understand the direct link between tax automation software and unlocking business value at scale.
The second surprise is I didn’t see myself getting back into tax software. Tax software is kinda niche so I helped other companies. By now I liked tax software, but didn’t want to go into an established area of tax and fight incumbents. And, it’s not like huge, new areas of tax come along all the time..
The thing that I’m most excited about is how much we’ll be able to help our customers. I’m here to build a great company culture, support our community, delight our customers, and build world-class tax software that unlocks new value in the crypto marketplace at scale.