Fintech

Harness Wealth wants to bring sophisticated tax planning to the masses

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Harness Wealth, which started in 2018 primarily offering financial advice to startup founders and employees, has expanded into the tax advisory space and raised a $17 million extension to its Series A round, bringing that financing to $32 million.

It is offering a new tax advisory platform that, it says, powers the practices of leading tax advisors and enables an integrated service to solve the financial complexities of its consumer clients. The Harness offering also has two other components, serving as a marketplace for discovery of advisers and services and consumer financial insight tools.

Since its last raise in June of 2021, Harness claims to have grown its client base by 10x, and has seen a 1588% bump in gross revenue growth, although it declined to disclose hard revenue numbers or client counts. For example, in addition to serving many tech founders, Harness now counts pro athletes, an artist whose works are in MoMA, an Amazon board member and an “iconic” journalist as clients, CEO and co-founder David Snider told TechCrunch. Prior to the Series A, Harness Wealth was primarily focused on tech industry employees as capital market activities boomed and there was increasing and time-sensitive needs from this population on managing their equity.

“The needs of this group drove us to the gap in the market for high-quality, digitally enabled, tax services,” he said. In order to fill that need, Harness partnered with experienced tax advisers who in most cases already had a significant roster of clients. So when those advisers partnered with Harness, many of those clients became clients of Harness as well.

But Snider hopes that this new tax advice platform will be of use to an even broader clientele than just the super rich. To that end, this startup has already been tapped as a tax partner by two of the largest financial institutions in the U.S.

“There still are thousands of tech ecosystem builders, though there are also ‘builders’ of all other sorts — small and privately held business owners, professional service executives, investors, etc.,” he said.

“The increasing prevalence of equity ownership, state-to-state moves and investments in alternative asset classes led to our focus on building a proprietary tax solution.” Also part of what drove Harness to create this new platform includes recent changes in tax laws stemming from the Inflation Reduction Act, which could have major implications for high-income individuals such as “a massive increase in taxpayer audits,” said Snider, former CFO at Compass.

Put simply, the new platform “powers the collaboration between tax advisors and their clients,” the company said. About 75% of Harness’ clients come through advisers that join the platform. Twenty-five percent are consumers.

Three Fish Capital, the venture arm of the Galvin Family (founders of Motorola), led the latest financing, which included participation from existing backer Jackson Square Ventures, Day One Ventures, Northwestern Mutual Ventures and Paul Edgerley, former co-head of Bain Capital private equity. Other investors include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Alleycorp’s Kevin Ryan, Compass founder Ori Allon, Angi’s Oisin Hanrahan, and Edith Cooper, a director on the boards of PepsiCo and Amazon. The company declined to reveal its valuation, but typically valuations stay flat in extension rounds.

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