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TaxLeopard hunts down rival Airtax to feed expansion plan


The tax app for freelancers and contractors has made its first acquisition since launching last year, buying a “sleeping giant” developed by PwC.

By Christine Chen 10 minute read

Accounting software start-up TaxLeopard has acquired rival fintech Airtax, kicking off expansion plans with a six-figure deal that stands to boost its user base of 5,000 ninefold.

The deal marked the Melbourne-based firm’s first major purchase since its launch last year and could add up to 40,000 users to its platform for self-employed users and contractors.

Co-founder Selda Kaplan said the deal to buy a competitor made total sense for its growth plans and existing partnerships with gig economy names like DoorDash, Fiverr and DiDi.

“Acquiring a technology of Airtax’s quality and breadth allows us to enhance our existing capabilities, continue growing our user base and expand on the significant strategic partnerships we have both locally and overseas,” she said. 

“We are at a truly exciting stage of our business trajectory and product journey, and the acquisition of Airtax shows our intent to remain at the forefront of finance and tax innovation in Australia.”

“We are preparing to raise capital and our funding will be going to scale the current company – its Australian user base – and also to build a global version of TaxLeopard.”

She admitted it was possible not all of Airtax’s 40,000 users would migrate to TaxLeopard, but there was a “massive” opportunity to win them over.

“They will already be familiar with lodging tax returns and BAS statements on the system, and we’ve got our marketing and sales team ready to go to bring them on board.”

The acquisition would also ramp up TaxLeopard’s R&D projects, Ms Kaplan said, as the datasets generated by a larger user base would help develop technology like generative AI to provide more nuanced services.

“We needed a bigger, wider amount of data for our R&D project with RMIT University to build an AI-based virtual tax accountant. We’re still in the research phase, but the AI will be analysing users’ data and giving them prompts and assistance to help with their tax returns and to maximise their deductions.”

Ms Kaplan said she had been following Airtax since it was launched in 2016 by PwC. The technology was then sold to employment tax consultants Vialto Partners as part of its divestment from the Big 4 accounting firm last year. 

“This is a company that we have been watching continuously since they focused a lot on freelancers and the gig economy – very similar clientele as us. I was always jealous that they had some amazing partnerships. But now we have the opportunity to acquire them. It's pretty exciting and a big milestone.”

“Being owned by a Big 4 firm, it wasn’t their main focus so [PwC] decided to let it go, and we’ve decided to take over.” 

Airtax product owner Nigel Stivala said Airtax was a “sleeping giant” and expected it to thrive under TaxLeopard.

“[Airtax] will thrive under new ownership that can provide the focus and attention it deserves,” he said. “With a dedicated team that has experience and passion for this market, there is enormous upside potential.

“The team at TaxLeopard are the perfect custodians to take this business forward and we’re confident it will be a huge success under their stewardship.”

TaxLeopard co-founder Michael Kambouridis said they would be actively seeking investment with a funding round next year.

“We have an outlook of the next 12 to 18 months of potentially achieving profitability.”

“But at the end of the day, we're a tech company, so we’re not looking at this from a traditional accountant’s view of having to achieve profitability right away.”

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Christine Chen

Christine Chen


Christine Chen is a graduate journalist at Accountants Daily and Accounting Times, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting sector.

Previously, Christine has written for City Hub, the South Sydney Herald and Honi Soit. She has also produced online content for LegalVision and completed internships at EY and Deloitte.

Christine has a commerce degree from the University of Western Australia and is studying a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Sydney. 

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