Intuit is buying Mint.com for $170 million in cash, in a deal that gives it control of a startup that had disrupted its dominance in personal money management software with a free online alternative. Intuit, which sells Quicken, and Mint had been in a tight race in the online personal finance market, with both companies claiming more than one million active users of their online products. Last fall, Intuit dropped the $2.99 a month subscription fee that it was charging for Quicken Online, partly in order to better compete with Mint. Intuit says it will now offer both services separately, although it says Mint will be the “primary online personal finance management service” it will offer to consumers.
Mint and Quicken Online make money by referring users to financial services, like credit cards and new bank accounts. Mint CEO Aaron Patzer told us in an interview in June that the company was on track to increase sales by ten-fold this year, but he wouldn’t provide revenue figures or say if the company was profitable.
Both companies have also been exploring directly charging consumers to use some online features — and an Intuit spokesman tells us that Patzer will put a “fresh eye on that” since he will be joining Intuit as general manager of its personal finance group, tasked with leading Mint, Quicken Online, and also the desktop version of Quicken.
Business Insider first reported late Sunday that a deal was possibly in the works.