The company will use the money to build out software that makes it easier for small businesses to file and pay sales taxes. LumaTax, formerly known as SALTSolver, is starting with California small businesses. LumaTax’s app lets businesses create exemption certificates, which are needed when businesses sell to one another, for passing along the responsibility for collecting sales tax. LumaTax also plans to offer California-based small businesses a cloud service to file their sales tax returns.
“We want to give people their Sundays back,” LumaTax founder and CEO Robert Schulte said in a statement. “Filing your sales tax shouldn’t be stressful, complicated or time-consuming. We can hook into systems you already have and make compliance simple and accurate every time. Paying your sales tax should be just like automated bill pay or payroll.”
Schulte is a former senior sales tax auditor for the state of California, and he founded Taxcient, a sales tax solutions provider for large businesses. Taxcient was acquired in 2010 by Seattle-based tax automation company Avalara.
LumaTax is the first spinout of Pioneer Square Labs, a Seattle startup studio co-founded by Greg Gottesman, who is also a partner at Madrona. Bill Richter, venture partner with Madrona and a former accountant and president of the Isilon Storage Division of EMC, handled the LumaTax investment for Madrona. It is his first with the firm.
“LumaTax is taking something that used to be manual and paper-based and putting it right on your mobile phone,” Richter said. “If you are a business with lots of exempt sales or buying something that is exempt from sales tax, you would be crazy not to try out this app. It will simplify your life.”