Update: How We Raised $7.3M In Additional Funding And Grew Revenue 500%

Published: December 3rd, 2022
Shiloh Johnson
Founder, ComplYant Inc
ComplYant Inc
from Los Angeles, California, USA
started January 2019
Discover what tools Shiloh recommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Shiloh recommends to grow your business!
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Note: This business is no longer running. It was started in 2019 and ended in 2024. Reason for closure: shut down.

Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Shiloh Johnson here, the former owner of an accounting practice, and current founder and CEO of Complyant App Inc.

I kept seeing small businesses make major tax mistakes -- such as not collecting and remitting sales tax or not even paying income tax -- that required a lot more work to fix than the business owners could afford. I wanted to send them to a software platform that could help, but couldn't find one that helped them understand their tax requirements.

So in 2019, I founded ComplYant, a platform that teaches business owners about the kinds of taxes they owe and the deadlines they need to meet, along with reminding them to pay, helps with budgeting and savings as well, and much more.

We’ve grown to 30 employees and 500% revenue growth since our last write up.


Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

Since we last spoke, we have raised $7.3m in additional venture funding for a total of $12.8m raised. We did this via seed extension to push toward a few key feature build-outs that are important for the next phase of fundraising and growth. Ultimately we know we are close but need just a little more time.

We also served 9,000 small businesses in total, up a few thousand from before. Customers are always the goal, so we have been working on how best to focus on go to market efforts.

We have also shifted things a bit by starting to hone in on value add partnerships, such as community-led banks, and cCPAfocused tools. We think CPAs using our tool is a great segment for us as well.

We continue to do things that don’t scale so well, like workshops, webinars, and in person events. We do these because it is really useful for us to get in front of our business owners, face to face, hear them talk about their problems, and have them experience our tool and provide immediate live feedback.

Also, what has reen working well are our SEO and ad spending efforts. Our click-through rate is through the roof, 1 in every 5 people that see one of our ads clicks through to our site, which is rxciting.

Our biggest learnings from ad spend efforts iarejust to test, putting small dollars toward words and phrases and then watching and editing those keywords weekly for a year led us to a really good keyword mix that led to excellent conversion.

Our SEO efforts have resulted in releasing content weekly. We do this via the blog and regular contributions to our accounting glossary. We have been able to hire a content writer, along with our tax research team, to write expert blogs that we list in our resource hub. Consistency is key with SEO.


We’ve also been ramping up my prand presence by speaking at more events, and podcasts and doing feature write ups like this one. Here are a few recent PR efforts:

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

Although we have hired a total of 30 employees, we are still stretched very thin. This is because there is a lot to do and we want to do it well. Speed is also a challenge, you need to move 10x faster with fewer resources, and speed is your competitive advantage. Moving slowly can harm production and morale. But sacrificing accuracy can hurt customers. So knowing when to push back or not has been tough to navigate.

Also, all of the uncertainty around the economy/pending recession has been a challenge affecting the timing around fundraising. This also affects potential raise valuations, and ultimately 409As.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

The same as the challenges questions above. Adding that my mental and emotional state is the most important part of this process for me. If I am not able to find balance this rffects my ability to be an effective leader. So practicing daily self care rituals and putting myself at the top of my priority list has been a huge lesson for me.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

In the upcoming year we will focus on these build sprints that we need to get out before the next fundraiser. We will also try to bring in 6-10 more senior top tier engineers.

Next 5 years we will be in scale mode, prepping for an initial public offering. We will also be doubling down on partnerships, and massively expanding our product offering. When you think tax you’ll think of ComplYant, tax in just a few clicks.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

The best thing I have read in the last year is Startup Boards by Brad Feld. I am now running regular board meetings and I want to make sure they are effective. That book reads like a bible for board meetings.

Also read Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis, its a tech sales guide, really good for scrappy sales ideas.

I also listened to Business Breakdowns, the Intuit episode. It was important to understand how most view Intuit’s stickiness especially if we plan to disrupt their model.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

Read more, there is a lot to be said in books from people who have been there before, so learn from them. Also, talk to your customers, talk to potential customers, and talk to people you are not sure could be customers but want to rule out.

There is nothing that you can learn better than from the people that might buy your product. Sometimes we think that if we sell something, people who want it will find it and find value in it. Like if you build it they will come. But that isn’t always true.

There are a lot more pieces to that equation, like do they understand what you are selling? Do they understand intended use? Do they find immediate, repeatable value in buying it? Are they willing to pay what you are charging for it, can they afford to pay what you are charging for it? Are the customers you are talking to the right people you should be talking to, are they the decision makers? Is the problem they are aaving the same problem that you are solving? Do you see how all of that can get lost in translation? Talk to your customers.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are currently hiring. Please see this link for our careers page.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!