Tax season is over, but investors in Chicago-based TurboAppeal may be getting a different kind of return.
TurboAppeal, which makes software to help property owners appeal taxes, was acquired by Dallas-based Paradigm Tax Group, a property tax consulting firm, the companies announced Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The two entered a strategic partnership last summer, through which Paradigm would use TurboAppeal’s tools for its clients. Paradigm said the addition of TurboAppeal makes it the only national company that combines residential property tax appeal services with automated technology.
TurboAppeal offers self-service tools for residential property owners; they submit information through the website and are led through an automated evidence compilation process, said co-founder Badal Shah. For that, TurboAppeal charges $29 per appeal. That product will continue to exist and, under Shah’s leadership, proceed with national expansion plans.
Paradigm’s commercial property tax consultants will use a different tool designed for internal use that Shah said will help them work faster and serve customers better. He said the company plans to introduce more tools for commercial clients in the future.
Formerly CEO of TurboAppeal, Shah is now chief marketing officer of Paradigm. He said it became clear after the companies started working together last summer that there was potential to do more if they were under one proverbial roof.
“For me, this was kind of the dream, to exit with the largest (company) in the space,” Shah said. “That’s always been our goal. I just didn’t think it was going to happen this quick.”
TurboAppeal, which launched in early 2015, had raised $7.2 million prior to its acquisition from investors including Chicago-based Hyde Park Angels, Hyde Park Venture Partners, KGC Capital and Guaranteed Rate, Shah told Blue Sky in 2016. Its self-service product is currently available in select counties in 18 states, including Cook and DuPage in Illinois.
Hyde Park Angels managing director Peter Wilkins ⇒ said Paradigm has the resources to build on what TurboAppeal had already built and make change in the industry.
“I think it’s the right partner. I think it’s a great outcome for investors,” he said. “Also I think it’s great for the folks in the communities that TurboAppeal solutions are available.”
Shah said TurboAppeal, which had about 33 employees at its peak, slimmed down over the past several months as negotiations for the acquisition progressed. When TurboAppeal received a letter of intent from Paradigm, it had 19 employees. He said eight TurboAppeal employees joined Paradigm’s offices in Chicago and Denver. Most of them were in leadership, product or engineering roles. He said the other TurboAppeal employees, for whom there were no open roles at Paradigm, were laid off.
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