If you are a normal human being, your response to that headline should be “Who bought who?”. If you are a B2B Commerce nerd, your response might be: “that was so last month, where have you been?!” I’ll assume most of you lean towards the former, but I’ll keep it short–just in case!
Invoiceware is a fascinating, little company that made its name handling VAT-compliant e-invoicing in Latin American countries. Invoiceware provided software to perform this service for many US-Based multinationals and some domestic Latin American companies. Latin American countries tend to mandate government-intermediated e-invoicing as a way to ensure business taxes are collected. (Basically every transaction ends up touching a government server as part of the approval process. Something the Greek taxation authorities might want to consider!) Invoiceware managed to get a head of many of the big global e-invoicing networks on this regulatory regime and carved out a nice niche apparently appreciated by Sovos.
I had never heard of Sovos Compliance until the Invoiceware deal, but I had heard of one of their products, Taxware, for many years. Taxware is a leading sales and use tax software package that had been “around the block” in terms of ownership: First Data, then ADP, and now Vista Equity (in the form of Sovos). Sovos appears to be a Vista and Hg Capital owned “roll-up” of tax compliance software and service companies– namely the aforementioned Taxware and Invoiceware, plus several additional companies:
- “the #1 private, third-party filer of 1099 forms in the United States, Convey Compliance Systems”
- VAT Resource which “contributes over 10 years international tax expertise, including consulting services and powerful VAT reporting software solutions”
- “ShipCompliant, the industry leading SaaS compliance and transaction platform for the beverage alcohol industry.” (This one may compete with another company, Fintech (yes, that is company’s name), I have written about here) and finally
- Taxify, “an SST-certified sales tax automation, reporting and filing tool for small and medium businesses, with unique solutions for e-commerce businesses”
Alcohol and Taxes
In this fiscal environment, selling more efficient ways for companies to comply with tax regulations and for governments to ensure collection seems like a pretty good idea. Sin taxes, such as alcohol and cigarettes are a pretty sure bet as well.
I love boring, unglamorous, transactional business like this. They don’t make headlines, but just make money.