KPMG buys stake in LumaTax

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KPMG LLP has bought a minority interest in LumaTax, a San Diego-based sales and use tax technology provider.

The Big Four firm is joining Madrona Venture Group, Cowboy Ventures, Greycroft, Vulcan Capital and others in this round of financing. The exact size of KPMG’s stake was not disclosed, nor the total amount raised in this round of funding. In 2018, LumaTax announced a $3 million round of funding from the four VC firms, on top of an earlier round of $2 million in funding, according to Geekwire.

"KPMG and LumaTax share a commitment to innovation, and we are extremely pleased to be a part of their ongoing journey to harness technology and embrace disruption as they serve their clients,” said Jeffrey C. LeSage, Americas vice chairman-tax at KPMG, in a statement Wednesday.

LumaTax was founded by Robert Schulte, a former senior tax auditor for the state of California. The company spun out of a Seattle-based startup known as Pioneer Square Labs in 2017.

Prior to LumaTax, Schulte co-founded Taxcient, a San Diego-based sales and use tax software company that merged with Seattle-based Avalara in 2010. Like Avalara, which had a wildly successful IPO in 2018 in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, LumaTax is aiming at the e-commerce market.

The minority investment is part of KPMG’s web of relationships, which range from vendors to alliances to acquisitions, and the firm believes LumaTax is on the forefront of providing disruptive services to a new market. The investment aims to provide LumaTax with more capital to research and develop new solutions to a problem that many small and midsize businesses are facing, especially in light of the Wayfair decision.

"KPMG continually demonstrates its commitment to helping clients reimagine their tax operations and become future ready," Schulte said in a statement. "We are excited that they are joining us at this pivotal time for LumaTax."

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