{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

More M&A: publicly-traded software company Intuit is acquiring personal finance upstart Mint.com for $170m. Mint.com, which launched at TechCrunch40 in 2007 and had raised nearly $32m from investors, has over 1.5m users and tracks more than $50bn in assets for its users.

Mint.com is simple: it allows users to aggregate data for their bank, credit and investment accounts and track those accounts through a single interface. Through this, Mint.com can help users identify areas for savings (it claims to have found over $300m in potential savings for its users) and promote financial services that users may be interested in.

It's a natural fit for Intuit, which is best-known for producing the Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax software packages. While Intuit isn't new to the web (it runs a number of finance websites and offers web-based versions of QuickBooks and TurboTax), this is yet another example of a nimble upstart beating a larger company to the punch.

Intuit plans to make Mint.com its flagship personal finance property online and it appears that Mint.com founder and CEO Aaron Patzer will remain on board.

In a guest post on TechCrunch, Patzer provides some interesting insights into Mint.com's journey. Of note:

  • On SEO: "To build demand, we started asking for email addresses for our alpha 9 months in advance of launch. Then when we had too many people sign up, we asked people to put a little badge that said “I want Mint” on their blogs to get priority access. We got free advertising and 600 link backs which raised our SEO juice."
  • On paid search engine marketing: "We decided not to do SEM – it’s too easy and too additive. Instead, we relied on press. It’s where I spent 20% of my time."
  • On open source: "Our technology was all open source, and essentially all free: MySQL at the bottom, Hibernate to avoid the need to hire a DBA, Tomcat on Apache, Yahoo’s YUI served as the base for our AJAXy goodness."

But perhaps the top lesson Patzer offers: the importance of building something that solves a real problem. Patzer writes:

While everyone else was doing social media, music, video or the startup de jour, we tried to ground ourselves in what any business should be doing: solve a real problem for people. Make something that is faster, more efficient, cheaper (in this case free), and innovate on technology or business model to make a healthy revenue stream doing it.

That strategy took Mint.com from "$0 to $170m in three years flat" and for other startups looking to do the same, a similar strategy is probably in order.

Patricio Robles

Published 14 September, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2394 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

Avatar-blank-50x50

Intuit Fan

I use Intuit for a number of things already, QuickBooks for business, Quicken at home, and their TurboTax software come tax time. I was already testing Mint.com's application prior to Intuit showing interest so this is a good move all around. I am interested to see what Intuit will do with the technology that Mint is running on.

almost 7 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.