Techstars LA Alum ComplYant Wants to Ease Small Businesses’ Tax Pains

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

ComplYant
Image courtesy of ComplYant

ComplYant, a fintech startup that rose out of accelerator Techstars’ Los Angeles program, has raised a $5.5 million seed funding round, the company told dot.LA.

While San Francisco-based venture capital firm Craft Ventures led the round, two notable L.A.-based VCs, Mucker Capital and Slauson and Co., also participated. Techstars—which helped launch ComplYant through its L.A. accelerator program last year—also chipped in.


ComplYant founder Shiloh Johnson.

Image courtesy of ComplYant

ComplYant sells software that helps small businesses manage taxes, licensing fees and annual reports. The L.A.-based startup, which was founded in 2019 by former accountant Shiloh Johnson, claims it already helps thousands of customers avoid more than $4 million in late fees and penalties annually.

Johnson initially bootstrapped ComplYant while running a tax practice during the daytime, the founder and CEO told dot.LA. As an accountant with no previous tech background, Johnson initially turned to coding instruction platform Codecademy to design ComplYant herself, before eventually recruiting a contractor to write the code.

“Solo founding is rough, I will be honest,” Johnson said. “What I lacked in engineering awareness, I made up for in subject matter expertise, so I could get away with hiring people to step in.”

In addition to Techstars, ComplYant also worked its way through L.A.-based accelerator Grid110’s inaugural South L.A. cohort in 2020. Johnson is one of the few Black women startup founders who raised more than $1 million in venture capital funding last year, according to Business Insider.

“Especially in L.A., I find that founders tend to come from the industry that they’re solving problems for,” Craft partner Michael Tam told dot.LA. “Shiloh is the epitome of that.”

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