What's going on?
Accounting software company Intuit is meditating on whether to buy personal finance portal Credit Karma for $7 billion, in the hope good things will come back around for its business.
What does this mean?
The deal would be Intuit’s biggest acquisition ever, and is expected to push the company further into the fast-growing sphere of online personal finance. That might be a shrewd move: while Credit Karma’s flagship product – providing customers access to their borrowing histories and credit scores – is free, the company does big business tailoring third-party products to its customers based on their circumstances. And clearly Credit Karma’s efforts to align its chakras have been paying off so far: the potential $7 billion bid is $3 billion more than the company’s valuation just two years ago. Namasté.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: Intuit is watching you.
Intuit’s looking to beef up its existing personal finance services like Mint – its online budgeting platform – and TurboTax, the software used by millions to file taxes. By combining with privately owned Credit Karma, Intuit can expand the trove of financial data it collects on customers, and better tweak recommendations to suit them.
For markets: Take the next exit.
Credit Karma’s private-equity investors have been looking to get a return on their investment since last year, when they thought about listing the company on the stock exchange. But after a string of disappointing initial public offerings in 2019 – think Uber, Peloton, Lyft – they decided to look elsewhere. Fortunately for them, the “merger market” is still going strong – especially among financial technology companies. In fact, there have already been a couple of major acquisitions this year: Morgan Stanley announced it’s buying online brokerage E*Trade, while Visa’s shelling out for financial technology startup Plaid.