How We Upgraded Our Platform And Reached $100K In Revenue

Published: February 9th, 2021
Vamshi Vangapally
Founder, BearTax
from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
started February 2018
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

I am Vamshi Vangapally, an engineer turned founder with a decade of experience in building products for web and mobile platforms. I was always interested in building a profitable microSaaS business and finally took off with BearTax.

This product is purely built for my own use while filing taxes back in 2018. Trading cryptocurrency is almost equal to walking on a minefield. Imagine dealing with taxes on those gains/losses. Above that, the IRS has got great tools to monitor someone trading and defaulting on taxes, because everything is pretty much KYCed and on public blockchain (if you are in the US and comply with the laws).

To solve this problem using the power of automation, I have paired up with my long term buddies and built BearTax. This SaaS platform aggregates information from 70+ exchanges and public blockchains to figure out your taxable events and generates necessary tax documents for you.

Product is priced fairly depending on the number of transactions you make in a year. It is a yearly subscription, which saves you at least $500 in CPA charges for the time and effort necessary and essentially pays for itself. We have more than 10K customers using it and making a little over $100K in annual revenue.


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

2019 and 2020 have been pretty much dead years I would say. Not many were trading and the volatility or the opportunities have hit the bottom. We had relatively fewer people turning up or going for lesser transaction plans because they haven’t traded much. As a result, our revenues were flat.

Create more than you consume. If you keep consuming, you would learn but lose the action and could become complacent. Consume, but create more than what you consume at what you are good at.

The second half of 2020 has picked up some heat starting with DeFi craze and then the Bitcoin rising to all-time highs and more. There has been a lot of trading activity just like in 2017 and we can’t wait to handle a ton of queries and customers coming our way.

On a technical side, bear markets let you focus on building the tech for the bull markets (whether it’s the price or your revenues). The past year has helped us focus on upgrading the platform to scale and work on content strategies and building a strong team to build more integrations, handle various kinds of tax scenarios, and more.

Since everything went remote, we were able to work on some new partnerships between exchanges and platforms on a mutual benefit referral basis. This has been working out well. Also, networking has become easier with more online events and people caring less about your physical presence and the impact at the event. This worked a lot in our favor given our events and sponsorship budgets.

Working on upscaling and packaging our offerings better, so it could increase the ACV (average contract value), thus leading to focus our efforts on our loyal customers and serve them better as per their needs.

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

Never take anything for granted.

It would be obvious for everyone who’s been through 2020 - but even on the entrepreneurial side, especially if you are onto a side hustle, things could turn pretty fast around in a good or bad way.

Things change every day, you never know a new responsibility that would demand more of your time or something that could make your team less reachable due to other commitments. Be ready with a plan B.

Don’t hesitate to pause your hustle for something more important in the long term. You can always get back at it and ace it.

Don’t put more pressure on short term outcomes and instead focus on long term outcomes. Whether it’s tech, time, investments, habits.

Helpful habits that worked well in this pandemic, where mindfulness is an important thing, are prioritizing things that demand your attention. Sort them by the order of priority and attend to them accordingly. If needed, you can discard a few, even though you see a short term benefit out of it. Your time, health, and peace of mind are far more precious than any other monetary benefit (beyond a point).

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

We are building BearTax as a platform that serves as an operating system for anyone working in cryptocurrency accounting and taxation.

We power them with 3 essential pieces to navigate this space.

  1. Data aggregation platform
  2. Smart matching & tax event identifier
  3. Tax engine (on-premise and cloud)

With these offerings, we are comfortably leading this space.

Our focus for the next couple of years would be to acquire more customers who are traders and investors. Simultaneously, building a sales team to focus on enterprise sales, which gives us a unique advantage to be a leader in the long term.

Have you read any good books in the last year?

Books that helped me improve my view and understand the power of storytelling.

Following continued to be my source of inspiration for the microSaaS movement.

  • My First Million
  • The Pomp podcast
  • Indiehackers Podcast
  • Intercom - Marketing podcast

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

Focus on one channel that is working well and double down on that (Whether it’s Quora, Twitter, Facebook, Clubhouse, Reddit, etc.,). Do not look at others and follow the herd. You could have some kind of leverage on one particular platform, realize it and make use of it.

Create more than you consume. If you keep consuming, you would learn but lose the action and could become complacent. Consume, but create more than what you consume at what you are good at.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are always looking to work with great people with empathy and focus towards marketing and sales, who understand the domain (Taxation and enterprise sales). Reach out to us on support[at]bear[dot]tax.

At the same time, I am a technology-focused and product-focused founder. DM me on Twitter @idohodl for any help with architecture suggestions, feedback about MVP. Happy to help.

Where can we go to learn more?

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

Vamshi Vangapally, Founder of BearTax
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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