It may sound unbelievable, but for the growing population of 1099 contractors and self-directed workers who qualify for mileage based tax reimbursements, every mile driven for business purposes is worth $0.56, and every trip is worth about $8. That may not seem like a lot, but it turns out that mileage reimbursements accounted for $83B in U.S. tax refunds in 2013 alone. While this number is astonishingly large, it is only a fraction of the potential amount that could be reimbursed if the majority of the self-directed workforce filled out a Schedule C form on their taxes. However, given the arduous task of tracking and logging business miles, this rarely happens.
Enter MileIQ, the first mobile app that passively tracks and records a user’s trips and allows that user to easily categorize miles driven for business purposes. The magic of MileIQ is that it uses a smartphone’s GPS and accelerometer to accurately calculate exactly how far a user drives for every trip. Unlike other apps that require regular check-ins, or ones that compromise accuracy for the sake of usability, MileIQ gives users their valuable time back by running automatically in the background and never missing a beat (or a trip in this case). Once a user is ready to tally up her reimbursements, she just categorizes her trips by swiping left for personal and right for business, and MileIQ sums up business miles to calculate savings. The beauty of the app is that as you use it more, it becomes more intelligent and predictive, further reducing any manual intervention required by the user to classify trips.
As investors, we crave companies that target a large market and enjoy the tail winds associated with solving an underserved customer base. Since launching its app in January 2014, MileIQ has grown its user base aggressively, with the average user saving over $500 per month in reimbursements. During that time, MileIQ rose to become the top grossing financial services app in the iTunes store with a 4.5 app rating and an average net promoter score of 72! As an investor, that’s sexy.
The story looks even better when you consider the rapid growth in the U.S. freelance economy. Reports estimate that the population of U.S. Schedule C workers will grow to 68 million in 2019. As ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, and other on-demand services like Instacart and ZIRX continue to expand their contract labor force to serve burgeoning consumer demand, MileIQ will become a must-have app.
Today, I am proud to announce our Series A investment in MileIQ.
As a VC, I am also acutely aware that addressing a large market is a necessary, but insufficient, requirement for success. In this case, we are honored to work with the leadership team of Chuck Dietrich and Dan Bomze who, along with a talented group of team members I’ve gotten to know well, provide the executional excellence to address the unmet market need. I have been fortunate to call Chuck a close friend for years and have the utmost respect for his leadership abilities. Through this process I have also developed a deep sense of admiration for Dan’s passion for the space and work ethic.
Chuck, Dan and team – We couldn’t be happier to partner with you, and I’m personally excited and energized to go the “extra mile” (and more) as your partner on this journey. On behalf of everyone at our firm, welcome to the Trinity family!