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As Intuit Buys Credit Karma For $7.1B, A Quick Look Back At Its Funding History

Note: This headline and article was updated post-publication with confirmation of the news

Rumors swirled over the weekend that Intuit Inc. was on the verge of closing on a buy of personal finance company Credit Karma Inc. for about $7 billion in cash and stock. (The Wall Street Journal broke the news.)

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As the WSJ reported, such an acquisition would help propel Intuit further into the consumer finance space.

By Monday afternoon, Intuit had confirmed the news in a statement, saying it plans to buy Credit Karma for about $7.1 billion in cash and stock.

We thought this would be a good time to take a look at Credit Karma’s funding history. The San Francisco-based company has raised a total of $368 million since its 2007 founding by Ken Lin, according to Crunchbase data.

Most recently, in March 2018, Credit Karma skipped an IPO and cashed out for some of its existing investors via a $500 million secondary investment from Silver Lake Partners at a $3.5 billion pre-money valuation. With that deal, Silver Lake acquired a significant minority stake in the company from existing equity holders through an organized secondary process.

Credit Karma does a whole slew of things like help people keep up with, and improve, their credit ratings. It also helps people prepare and file their taxes, monitor their identities and track and manage vehicle information. It also uses advanced data modeling to analyze and identify the best financial products available for its members. As of 2018, it had originated more than $40 billion in credit products including credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, automotive financing and student loan refinancing.

And as of this month, Credit Karma says it has more than 100 million members in the United States, U.K. and Canada, including almost half of all U.S. millennials. Part of the company’s growth goes back to the fact that it offers all these things for free, making it easy for people to become members. The company makes its money when members take an offer through its site (such as for a credit card or a loan). In the case of a credit card, it gets a cut from the bank issuing that card, and in the instance of a loan, the company gets a cut from the lender who funds it.

In 2017 TechCrunch reported that the company earned “$500 million in revenue” the previous year and was profitable. In its statement today, Intuit noted that Credit Karma had “nearly $1 billion in unaudited revenue in calendar year 2019, up 20% from the previous year.”

Funding rewind

In 2008, Pathfinder put $500,000 in Credit Karma in an angel round. The startup went on to raise $2.5 million in a Series A (back when Series As were actually this small) financing that was led by QED Investors and included participation from Founders Fund, Felicis Ventures and SV Angel, among others.

It took Credit Karma three and a half years to raise its next round: a March 2013 $30 million Series B investment led by Susquehanna Growth Equity. 500 Startups also put money in that round.

By the following year, the company had raised $155 million across two tranches of a Series C round, more than five times the round of its Series B the previous year. The second tranche of that Series C, a $75 million round led by SV Angel in September 2014, gave Credit Karma a $1 billion valuation.

In June 2015, the company raised a $175 million Series D financing at a pre-money valuation of $3.3 billion.

The deal going through is a validation for the fintech space, which only saw one IPO last year in Bill.com’s public debut.

As Nathaniel Popper & Michael de la Merced of the New York Times put it, (thanks to Axios for calling out this nice excerpt):

“Intuit could try to match all the tax data its TurboTax customers provide with the credit-scoring data that Credit Karma holds. That could let Intuit serve up better customer prospects to credit card issuers—and eventually let Intuit charge lenders more for access to its hoard of data.”

In confirming the deal, Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi said the company’s mission is “to power prosperity around the world with a bold goal of doubling the household savings rate for customers on our platform.

“We wake up every day trying to help consumers make ends meet,” Goodarzi continued. “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, enabling them to buy the home they’ve always dreamed about, pay for education and take the vacation they’ve always wanted.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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