Avalara Adds New CMO Jeremy Korst

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Originally published at Finovate.com.

Starting in 2017 former Microsoft executive Jeremy Korst will be the man driving the message at tax compliance innovator and FinDEVr alum, Avalara. The Seattle-based company announced this week that Korst will join Avalara as its new chief marketing officer and executive vice president. Coming onboard at what Korst called “an exciting inflection point” for the company, he praised Avalara’s “ideal combination (of) a terrific executive team; a cohesive, unique culture that embraces the ‘power of Orange;’ a proven platform; and a massive global market opportunity.”

avalara_jeremykorstKorst (pictured) arrives at Avalara after several years at Microsoft where he led planning and execution of the global launch of Windows 10. Previous to Microsoft, Korst served as vice president and general manager at T-Mobile, and senior product marketing manager at AT&T Wireless/Cingular. A member of the board of a number of companies including Shoelace Wireless and 9104 Studios, Korst is a mentor for Seattle-area technology accelerator, 9Mile Labs. He has a BA in Economics, Politics, and Government from the University of Puget Sound, and a MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

At Avalara, Korst will be responsible for brand, demand generation, as well as channel, international, product, and customer marketing. Avalara general manager and CRO Pascal Van Dooren said Korst’s experience in marketing “some of the most storied names in tech … make(s) him an ideal fit for Avalara.”

Avalara presented “The Wacky World of Sales Tax” at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2015, explaining how its API makes it easy for developers to integrate transactional tax compliance into their applications. Last fall, Avalara announced an investment of $96 million that took its total capital to more than $300 million. In August, Avalara added a set of enhancements to its CertCapture management solution for compliance documents. And in June, in addition to unveiling a new integration with Stripe, the company was recognized at the American Business Awards.

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  • Avalara Adds New CMO Jeremy Korst.

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New Investment in Avalara Takes Tax Management Innovator’s Total Funding to More than $300 Million

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[Originally published on Finovate.com] We’re busy working on next month’s FinDEVr Silicon Valley developer’s conference (tickets still available), so we were thrilled to hear news of a major investment in Avalara, one of our FinDEVr alums from last year’s event.

Avalara, an innovator in automated tax management for small businesses, raised $96 million in new funding from a group of investors including Warburg Pincus, Sageview Capital, and Technology Crossover Ventures this week. Moreover, the company hinted that it may be considering an initial public offering in the near future, as well.

Quoted in GeekWire, company CEO Scott McFarlane called the possible IPO a ‘terrific outcome for Avalara someday if all the cards came together.” Avalara will use $50 million of this week’s investment to support acquisitions and growth – particularly its Compliance Cloud platform. The balance will be used to buy back shares from the company’s early investors. “This financing offers some long-term individual shareholders a liquidity event, while enabling more recent institutional investors to increase their stake,” McFarlane said. Avalara’s total capital raised is more than $318 million.

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Pictured: Loke Uei Tan discussing Avalara’s APIs during his presentation “The Wacky World of Sales Tax” at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2015.

Justin Sadrian, managing partner at Warburg Pincus, called Avalara “the ideal platform company” his firm seeks for investment. Ned Gilhuly, founding partner at Sageview Capital, praised the automated tax management specialist’s revenue growth since he began investing in Avalara, adding “going forward, we are as bullish as ever on the company’s growth prospects.”

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Avalara presented “The Wacky World of Sales Tax” at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2015. Senior Manager for Developer Relations Loke Uei Tan showed how APIs help developers solve the problem of delivering accurate transitional taxes information from more than 12,000 tax jurisdictions in the U.S.

Last month, Avalara added a number of new enhancements to its compliance document management solution, CertCapture. In June, Avalara announced both a new integration with Stripe as well as earning recognition at the American Business Awards. Avalara calculates $100 million in taxes daily, and remitted $14.4 billion in taxes in 2015.

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Avalara Adds to Compliance Document Management Solution, CertCapture

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[Originally published at Finvoate.com] Seattle-based Avalara unveiled a trio of enhancements to its compliance document management solution, CertCapture. The new features are designed to make it easier for SMEs to capture, manage, and analyze tax documents in real-time.

“CertCapture’s new features simplify the ever-increasing burden of tax compliance while enabling customers to run their businesses more efficiently and with the highest level of security,” Avalara EVP and GM Matt Tormollen said. The enhancements include a simplified user interface for POS systems, a single sign-on for customer exemption status management, and additional visual reporting features to better spot trends and manage compliance materials.

“Commerce happens in real-time and we want to empower clients to manage more of their tax compliance in real-time,” Tormollen said.

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Pictured: Loke Uei Tan, Senior Manager of Developer Relations for Avalara during his presentation, “The Wacky World of Sales Tax” at FinDEVr San Francisco 2015.

Avalara specializes in APIs that enable developers to bring transactional tax computation and management to their platforms. From helping SMEs calculate sales taxes for e-commerce transactions to empowering businesses with global customers to better negotiate the complex world of VATs and import/export taxes, Avalara’s solutions support tax calculation (Avalara AvaTax), returns and filing (Avalara Returns), tax document management (Avalara CertCapture), and professional services.

In June, Avalara announced a new integration with Stripe, the same month the company was doubly-recognized by the American Business Awards, earning a silver prize for Executive of the Year – Computer FinDEVr2015-AlumniV2Services and a bronze for New Product or Service of the Year – Software. Earlier this year, Avalara partnered with eCommerce platform, WooCommerce to help online merchants calculate sales taxes more accurately.

Founded in 2004, Avalara presented at FinDEVr San Francisco 2015, showing how its technology helps businesses deal with the complexity of sales taxes and other transactional fees. The company has raised more than $223 million in funding, and includes Arthur Ventures, Battery Ventures, Sageview Capital, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Warburg Pincus among its investors.

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Avalara Adds New Stripe Integration, Earns Dual Honors at American Business Awards

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Sales tax compliance specialist Avalara announced that it has added Stripe Relay to its list of Stripe integrations. The Seattle-based company already works with Stripe Connect and the latest move seems like a sign of things to come between the two fintechs. “Twelve months into our partnership, we’re delighted to expand it,” Avalara co-founder and CEO Scott McFarlane said. “(We) look forward to growing our mutual customer base with Stripe.”

Avalara’s cloud-based solutions make it easy for ecommerce merchants in particular accurately manage transactional taxes. The company’s API uses geolocation to provide businesses with accurate sales tax information for 12,000 different tax jurisdiction in the United States. Via API, businesses can set up rules to apply thousands of tax rules to accounting software, POS systems, or e-shopping carts.

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Pictured: Loke Uei Tan, Senior Manager, Developer Relations for Avalara during his presentation “The Wacky World of Sales Tax” at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco.

News of Avalara’s latest integration comes as the company celebrates winning a pair of Stevie Awards at the 14th Annual American Business Awards competition last week. Avalara too home a Silver Stevie for Executive of the Year – Computer Services, and a bronze for New Product of Service of the Year – Software – Cloud Application/Service. “Sales tax rules are complex to understand and keep changing from time to time,” one of the event judges said. “Avalara TrustFile can take care of an organization’s sales tax-related issues and helps organizations to concentrate their energies on generating sales.” TrustFile Online was launched by Avalara in 2015 and gives small businesses and online merchants a less expensive, more efficient way to report and file sales taxes.

And in a move that will endear them to legions of Pacific Northwest sports fans, Avalara announced that it was moving its headquarters to the south-of-downtown SODO area of Seattle that is home to the Emerald City’s long-suffering pro baseball and champion pro football teams. The still-under-construction building will be called Avalara Hawk Tower and the startup will occupy 100,000 square feet on the building’s two six floors.

Founded in 2004, Avalara demonstrated its technology at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco, discussing “The Wacky World of Sales Tax,” and how their technology helps merchants and others negotiate the complicated regulations that govern sales taxes in the U.S. In March, the company announced that it was teaming up with WordPress-powered e-commerc platform, WooCommerce. And in February, Avalara launched a new solution, Avalara LandedCost, which helps merchants with worldwide business see in real-time the taxes, tariffs, and fees that accompany international transactions.

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Avalara Teams Up with WooCommerce to Help Online Merchants Manage Sales Taxes

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Sales tax compliance specialist, Avalara and WordPress-powered eCommerce platform WooCommerce extended their partnership, bringing active updating, maintenance, and support to users of WooCommerce 2.3 and beyond.

Joel Bronkowski, chief business development officer for WooCommerce said Avalara had been a “terrific partner.” He added, “We chose to work with Avalara, because they have a proven track record of delivering the best tax compliance solutions for business.”

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Pictured: Loke Uei Tan, Senior Manager for Developer Relations for Avalara, during his presentation, “The Wacky World of Sales Tax” at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco.

Avalara’s API-based technology provides accurate, dynamic sales tax information to businesses using precise geo-location in more than 12,000 U.S. jurisdictions. Beyond sales taxes, Avalara’s solutions work for any transactional tax, including value added, communications, and excise taxes. Avalara integrates with a wide variety of financial platforms ranging from Salesforce and QuickBooks to Magento and SAGE.

“Avalara enables business owners to accurately calculate the right tax for the right product at the right time, right in the shopping cart,” Marshal Kushniruk, EVP of global business development for Avalara said. “It’s a huge win for our mutual customers.”

Avalara also announced this month that users of Datacor’s ERP solution, Chempax, will now be able to use Avalara for real-time, line-item, sales tax calculations. Shopify Plus integrated Avalara’s Compliance Cloud technology in January, the same month the company launched its LandedCost global tax compliance solution.

Headquartered in Seattle and founded in 2004, Avalara made its FinDEVr debut at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco. See the company’s presentation, “The Wacky World of Sales Tax.”


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