DealBook|Intuit to Buy Credit Karma to Create Financial Data Giant
SAN FRANCISCO — Intuit, the parent company of TurboTax and Mint, agreed on Monday to pay $7.1 billion for Credit Karma, a start-up that has become one of the most popular financial applications for young consumers.
The deal, which is being done with both cash and stock, is expected to create a Silicon Valley financial technology company that can help people easily get their credit scores, calculate and file their taxes and better access loans.
“By joining forces with Credit Karma, we can create a personalized financial assistant that will help consumers find the right financial products, put more money in their pockets and provide insights and advice,” Sasan Goodarzi, Intuit’s chief executive, said in a statement announcing the deal.
The acquisition underscores the value of the financial data of ordinary Americans. Credit Karma grew to be worth billions of dollars by giving people access to their credit scores and then used the information to serve them advertisements for new credit card and loans.
The company has been at the leading edge of a large group of financial technology start-ups that have encouraged younger consumers to make more of their financial decisions online and through their phone. Credit Karma says it has 100 million customers, including a third of all Americans who have a credit profile and half of all millennials.
Intuit has long been focused on helping businesses and consumers organize their financial data with products like QuickBooks and Mint. But the company belongs to an older generation of online financial firms and has been looking for ways to appeal to younger audiences.
After news of the deal leaked over the weekend, Intuit’s stock fell 3.6 percent on Monday before rising in after-hours trading.
Credit Karma had been expected to pursue an initial public offering. Its decision to sell itself to Intuit pointed to the increasing skepticism that investors had been showing toward tech start-ups. Several prominent tech start-ups, such as ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, went public last year but have seen their stock prices fall after Wall Street questioned whether they could make money.
Credit Karma was started in 2007 by Kenneth Lin, the current chief executive, and two co-founders after Mr. Lin had trouble acquiring his own credit score. Signing up for the site became a rite of passage for Americans looking to get their credit score in shape to apply for a mortgage.
Nathaniel Popper reported from San Francisco and Michael de la Merced from London.