CEO of Vancouver-founded Boast.AI talks helping entrepreneurs, hyper-growth expansion

Tech industry veteran Alok Tyagi has dedicated his career to working with companies to unlock R&D.

Tech industry veteran Alok Tyagi has dedicated his career to working with companies to unlock R&D 

Like many tech companies, Boast.AI technically has its headquarters in San Francisco. But the remote-first operation, which helps companies leverage the power of R&D through tax credits, was founded by a couple of young Canadians, including Vancouverite Alex Popa. Since launch in 2011, though, there have been a lot of changes.

The company now has some 120 employees across the world. It’s also a hyper-growth business under CEO Alok Tyagi, who was hired just over a year ago. Oh, and it added a couple letters to its name as the platform started incorporating AI. “We take technical data and convert it into dollars and cents that CFOs and businesspeople can understand,” says Tyagi of the platform. 

As Tyagi explains it, about 18 months ago, the company was mostly operating in Western Canada. The move into the U.S., which comes with a different legislative environment, has been pivotal for the company as it continues in its mission to do what Tyagi has spent most of his working life doing: unlocking the power of R&D.

“It’s about empowering dreamers, change agents, entrepreneurs,” says the Dallas-based CEO. “I grew up as a product guy. I’m fortunate that I’ve been part of companies like Oracle and Sage—really big brand names that have scaled up and unlocked the power of R&D. Boast is doing that for hundreds of thousands of companies. That’s why I joined.”

As the company has grown, a challenge has been in managing the remote work environment it operates in. Though the company has a global WeWork arrangement for its employees, no one is mandated to come in. “If you’re looking for some joint problem solving or just want to be in on a Thursday happy hour and build some relationships, you can,” says Tyagi.

But the company showcases a similar attitude toward the tech industry and community building both internally and externally. “We don’t just join because it’s work, it’s bigger than that,” says Tyagi. “People at Boast believe in and support entrepreneurs. We have product people who support a lot of incubators in their own personal time and a lot of people who are mentoring others. People join the company because it has a soul in it and they connect with others.”

In the last several years, Boast has seen a heavy injection of financing tools. In December 2020, it raised US$23 million in Series A financing. A couple months later, it secured a $100 million credit facility

Tyagi doesn’t think the company is going to slow down any time soon as double-digit revenue continues year-over-year. “I don’t think that’s changing,” he says. “We’re going to start bringing more and more AI. It’s not only money to invest in innovation—it’s about how in the future you invest your one dollar of R&D to get the best outcome possible.”