Interview: CEO Patzer On His Plans To Boost Sales Ten-Fold This Year

imageIn under two years, has emerged as the most popular website in online money management, racking up more traffic than competitors like Wesabe and Geezeo. A month ago, CEO Aaron Patzer told Bloomberg News that he expected the company’s revenue to increase by 10-fold this year (Mint won’t disclose how much money it’s actually bringing in). The company also has announced a deal to put a app on Yahoo’s customized My Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) home pages, which is expected to add significantly to the company’s audience.

All that growth hasn’t been without controversy, though. Patzer told Bloomberg that one way the company hoped to raise sales was by selling anonymous user data, raising eyebrows in the blogosphere. (Right now, Mint makes money when users act on its recommendations. For instance, if they open a new savings account that Mint alerts them to). In a recent interview with paidContent, Patzer talked about why he is so bullish about Mint’s prospects.

Edited excerpts after the jump.

How will revenue increase 10-fold this year?

If you double revenue quarter over quarter, that’s not unachievable … The financial crisis has been pretty good for us. More people want to manage their money. We’ve seen applications for credit cards … up 50 percent since January.

So are you planning to sell user data like Bloomberg implied?

It’s a misinterpretation. We would never sell user data. It’s in our terms of use. It’s just a bad idea. What we would do instead is create spending indexes. Just like the government puts out a consumer spending index, Mint has data on a category level, on a local level. (We could license it) as a potential revenue source or a press play. I don’t think there is anything insidious about it.

How big of an impact do you think the My Yahoo deal will have on membership?

If things go well and if we’re selected as a top application, it could add a couple hundred thousand users, maybe more. If this one works well, we might go to (Google’s customized home page) iGoogle (NSDQ: GOOG). This is part of a platform distribution (strategy). Mint is on the iPhone, eventually on RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) and Android and Windows Mobile. This is about getting Mint out to where people are most active and interested in their finances.

What are your projections for membership?

We have 1.2 million or so. We’ll get up to 2, 2.5 million (this year) depending on My Yahoo.

So what sort of additional functionalities are you thinking of adding to the site?

A step-by-step guide to improving your financial life. It launched in beta to 10 percent of users. (It gives you a) score every month … based on five principles.

We know how much you spend each month. We can tell automatically whether you have three months of savings. We give you credit for all the good financial things you do. You earn points that add up to a score.