Boast.ai has a new CEO to boast about. The Vancouver-founded company has made a leadership change, with founding CEO Alex Popa stepping back from the role and Alok Tyagi stepping in to help the R&D tax credit company scale.
The move is part of a broader shift that started about a year ago when Boast.ai raised its first institutional capital and staffed up to scale the business.
In May 2021, Boast.ai announced additions to its leadership team, bringing on a CTO, CMO, and CFO for the first time. Laurie Schultz, the former CEO of Galvanize who led the company to a $1 billion USD acquisition last year, also joined Boast.ai’s board of directors.
With the addition of Tyagi, Popa and co-founder Lloyed Lobo, the latter previously the company president, are stepping back from Boast.ai. The pair will remain on the company’s board and active in advising the new leadership team.
Popa and Lobo will now focus their time on running Traction, which they created alongside Boast.ai asa community for entrepreneurs. Traction has grown to more than 100,000 entrepreneurs, and hosts over 100 events per year from webinars to conferences.
Boast.ai’s new CEO took on the role May 1. Tyagi brings to Boast.ai executive experience from a number of tech companies, most recently as the chief product and technology office of DealerSocket, which was a software provider for the automotive industry before being acquired by American vehicle software company Solera last year.
Tyagi has specific expertise in the engineering and tech space, having served in tech leadership roles at a number of companies, including Sage and Oracle. His background in the technology side of businesses gives him the intimate knowledge needed to understand Boast.ai’s focus on research and development teams.
“It has been my lifelong pursuit on the R&D side and how that informs how we really drive and deliver on the innovation side,” said Tyagi.
Tyagi’s goal is to help Boast.ai hit $100 million in revenue by 2025. When Boast.ai raised its first institutional capital in December 2020, its leadership team set an ambitious goal to attract 5,000 customers over the next four to five years, which they claimed would garner that $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).
Boast.ai’s software platform automates the process for claiming R&D tax credits in the United States (US) and Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits in Canada. It has worked with more than 1,000 customers across both Canada and the US.
For about a decade, Boast.ai bootstrapped its way to “eight-figures in revenue,” which it reached by late 2020.
Over the last 24 months, Boast.ai claims that it has increased its revenue and customer base by nearly four times. Its customers include the likes of Klue, Humi, Neo Financial, Plurilock, and Rival Technologies. Boast.ai claims to have secured hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits for its customers.
Boast.ai provides those companies with a platform making it easier, throughout the year, to track the required details for R&D tax credits claims that are due by the end of every tax season. The startup has also been working to expand its product line over the last couple of years. Early last year, Boast.ai secured a $100 million credit facility to provide companies with up-front loans for their R&D tax credits. The loans allow companies to have spend for R&D before they receive their government loans.
The company also sees the potential to use the data garnered from its platform to provide companies with insights into the performance of R&D teams, and help companies understand the return on investment (ROI) those teams provide.
Tyagi called R&D a ‘black box’ where reconciling financial, project, and timekeeping data, among other things, is not easy to do. He claimed that, in the past, the process has been very manual or supported by large companies that are slow to operate.
“[Boast.ai is] very uniquely positioned in a time when the pace of innovation is getting faster, companies are hungry to do more innovation,” the new CEO said. “And a company like us, we are the right partner to really unlock that R&D secret.”
Feature image courtesy Boast.ai