* Helps companies ensure tax compliance across countries
* Checkout.com CEO, Cavalry Ventures also back funding round
* Money to help hire more staff and expand partnerships
By Juliette Portala
Sept 21 (Reuters) - Loctax, which helps companies better manage their tax reporting, said on Tuesday it had raised $12 million in its latest funding round, led by London-based Index Ventures.
The Series A all-cash raise, which was also backed by Cavalry Ventures and investors Mustard Seed Maze and Seedcamp, will be used to hire more staff and expand partnerships with local advisors, Loctax said.
The firm's technology seeks to ease increasingly complex cross-border tax reporting that could cause reputational damage and potential fines for businesses if mishandled.
"Currently there's no shared concept in how companies and regulators talk about tax," Chief Executive Officer Hans Kayaert said in a statement, and no "straightforward way" for tax teams to know if they are meeting all their obligations.
"Even sophisticated companies are knee-deep in Excel sheets," he told Reuters in a call.
Faced with moves by the European Union to tackle tax avoidance, multinational companies are under pressure to disclose how much revenue and tax they pay in the bloc while complying with growing sustainable finance standards.
Kayaert noted that consumers, investors and stakeholders increasingly wanted to engage with organisations that are "good corporate citizens" and show "they are doing the right thing".
"If you think of the increasing transparency angle, especially in an ESG (environmental, social and governance) era where tax contributions are truly where the rubber hits the road in terms of contributing to society, you need a company to be able to have a complete picture," he said.
Growing interest in ESG-focused investments have triggered a surge in flows to related funds in recent years, with regulation evolving towards more "planet-relevant" topics, Kayaert added. (Reporting by Juliette Portala, editing by Simon Jessop and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)