Electronic tax

clear acquires cimplyfive: Online tax filing provider Clear acquires CimplyFive in all-cash transaction

Bengaluru: Online tax filing service provider Clear (formerly ClearTax) has acquired business compliance automation platform CimplyFive for an undisclosed amount in a cash transaction.

This is Clear’s second acquisition this year as it continues to double down on its software platform and seeks to diversify services for its 4,000 enterprise customers.

After the acquisition is completed, CimplyFive will continue to operate independently with founder Shankar Jaganathan leading the business, the company said.

The acquisition would allow Clear, the Stripe-based U.S. payments company, to integrate compliance and governance management solutions into its existing financial cloud suite.

Founded in 2014, CimplyFive helps company secretaries automate compliance requirements with all provisions of the Companies Act 2013 and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Registration Requirements (LODR). It also offers companies system-based tracking, helping them stay on top of regulatory compliance.

The company has raised funds from prominent angel investors, including former

CFO Suresh Senapaty and former TV manager Mohandas Pai.

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“The CFO’s office continues to be the latest member to be digitized. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many compliances such as board meetings have gone digital, which makes us see an opportunity to enter this space,” Gupta said in an interaction with ET. “Through the acquisition, we are now targeting the company’s secretariat and touching on Sebi’s listing obligations, ensuring that no mistakes are made by technology intervention.”

Through its financial cloud suite, Clear currently helps companies manage and pay their taxes, GST (goods and services tax), TDS (withholding tax) as well as make supplier payments.

CimplyFive has nearly 100 corporate clients including Fabindia, Premji Invest,

Tata-Hitachi, Group, Group and Wipro.

Its acquisition will also allow Clear to sell its software offerings to these customers.

Currently, Clear continues to focus on growing its Software as a Service (SaaS) footprint, which contributes nearly 90% of its overall revenue. Its other lines of business include its consumer financial services play “Black” and its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) bill discounting product that it launched earlier this year.

Clear currently disburses around Rs 100-120 crore in loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) every month on its platform, Gupta said.

The company plans to expand its geographic footprint to new countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, as well as the United States and Europe.

“Within SaaS, our two big areas of focus continue to be B2B financial suite and crypto-related tax APIs (application programming interfaces),” Gupta said. “We actively partner with crypto exchanges and NFT (non-fungible token) platforms to help their clients understand taxation.”

In March of this year,
Clear had acquired supply chain finance technology company Xpedize for Rs 100 crore. Last year,
it had acquired corporate payments startup yBANQ to enter the business-to-business (B2B) payments space. Previously, it also acquired Karvy’s GST business in 2020.

In October last year, the company had
raised $75 million in Series Cled by Kora Capital with Stripe, Alua Capital and Think Investments also participating in the round.

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