Posted In:

Robots, Tax

Robots And Taxes


Jan 25, 2020


Posted In:

Robots, Tax


Jan 25, 2020



There are currently 2.3m robots in the global workforce today, expected to grow three-fold in the next decade! These robots are displacing over 20m manufacturing jobs and many more across trading, back-office, agriculture, and medicine.

The age of automation extends beyond manufacturing and will permeate tasks like processing financial statements, machine-to-machine payments, and more complex systems like autonomous vehicles.

Governments typically have three main tax bases: capital, labor, and expenditure. With the labor denominator (aka income tax) potentially dwindling, governments are trying to find other sources of revenue to fund ever-growing government budgets.

Bill Gates, Mayor de Blasio, and other tax experts are suggesting a substitution for the “payroll tax” with some form of “automation tax”. Others are suggesting no changes to policy, comparing this to the Industrial Revolution – pointing to record employment numbers in countries like Japan, Germany, and South Korea despite their high rate of robots in the workforce.

While Transformers and Wall-E may come to life – we hope our tax policies evolve with the times.

Portfolio News

FinTech Collective portfolio company Flutterwave raised $35m Series B - Nigeria based API payments startup for Africa has raised a $35m Series B round led by Greycroft with participation from FinTech Collective,, Worldpay, Green Visor, CRE and Visa. Flutterwave processed $5.4b in payment volume in 2019 and announced a partnership with Worldpay. Congrats GB and team! Read more

Open Banking overcomes the data obstacle of paper with Ocrolus - PYMNTS interviewed Sam Bobley, CEO of portfolio company Ocrolus, to discuss how the Open Banking mandate can be achieved with the marriage of Ocrolus and Plaid. Read more

A case study in fintech infrastructure: FreshCuts — Powering the next generation of barbershops - Sam Bobley, CEO of portfolio company Ocrolus, discusses how API-driven infrastructure providers are enabling SaaS companies to transform their businesses with new financial services. With Ocrolus automating the back-office and Plaid providing bank connectivity, these businesses have new options to accelerate their revenue. Read more

Robots And Taxes

The idea of a 'robot tax' is gaining steam as a way of dealing with automation that's killing jobs - Such a tax could also conceivably create another source of federal revenue in an economy governed by more machines and fewer workers — reducing the possible disruption to the funding structures of Social Security and Medicare, which rely on payroll taxes paid by every worker and to help people find or train for new jobs. Read more

Why American workers need to be protected from automation - New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to protect blue-collar jobs by issuing a robot tax for corporations displacing humans, and create a federal agency to oversee automation. Read more

Here's how Bill Gates' plan to tax robots could actually happen - Gates wonders what proportion tax revenue should a state raise from each of the three main tax bases; capital, labor, and expenditure? And how can a state counteract tax avoidance by large companies and wealthy individuals? He believes taxing robots are part of the solution. Read more

Industry News

The new kings of the bond market - Four years ago Matheus Pereira was taking his final exams at Wharton business school. Today he reckons he is responsible for 3% of US high-yield bond trading volume. His meteoric rise has been made possible by the shift towards passive investing and fixed-income ETFs. Read more

Singapore’s new digital banks face uphill struggle - Experts predict they will face an uphill struggle to capture share in one of the planet’s most sophisticated financial industries, but the bigger prize could be unlocking access to fast-growing markets elsewhere in the region. Read more

Fair Isaac, which produces the FICO score, is introducing a new model amid record levels of debt - About 40m consumers who have fallen behind on their bills or have rising debt levels could see their credit scores fall significantly under changes being made to FICO. Read more

Davos day 3: FinTech giants take on central banks on the future of digital money - Tech giants and government officials discussed the future of cryptocurrency to the World Economic Forum, arguing over whether providing a way for the unbanked to tap into financial services is more important than concerns over privacy. Read more

Former Wells Fargo CEO banned from banking industry and fined $17.5m - Former CEO John Stumpf agreed to a lifetime ban from the banking industry and the fine for his role in leading the bank through its massive fake accounts scandal. Seven other former Wells Fargo executives about $40m. Read more

Is there any reason to own an individual stock anymore? - "Everyone is a genius in a bull market" but Warren Buffett instructed the trustee of his estate to put 90% of the cash he is leaving behind in a "very low-cost S&P 500 index fund" and the rest in short-term government bonds. Read more

Select Financings

AvidXchange - Charlotte based provider of accounts payable (AP) and payment automation solutions for the middle market raised $260m led by TPG. Read more

Home - Berlin based landlord and tenant management and payments platform raised an €11m Series A round with funding from Capnamic, EQT Ventures, FJ Labs and Redalpine. Read more

Liberis Group - London based funding-as-a-service platform for SMBs raised £32m led by FTV Capital. Read more

Lydia - France based mobile payment mobile app raised a $45m Series B round (€40m) led by Tencent. Read more

Personio - Munich based HR software for SMBs raised $75m at a $500m valuation led by Accel. Read more

Qonto - France based B2B challenger bank has raised a $115m Series C round led by Tencent and DST Global. Read more

Samya.Ai - India based provider of revenue growth software for FMCG businesses raised a $6m Seed round led by Sequoia India. Read more

Scoutbee - Germany based supplier discovery platform raised $60m in Series B funding led by Atomico. Read more

Tink - Sweden based open banking platform (the “Plaid” of Europe) raised €90m in new funding at a post-money valuation of €415m co-led by Dawn Capital, HMI Capital and Insight Partners. Read more


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