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The app will keep functioning--for now...
On its sixth birthday, personal finance app Check (formerly known as PageOnce) has announced it’s getting acquired by Intuit, which is also the owner of none other than Check’s arch competitor Mint. The deal totals $360 million in cash and stock.
As of last fall, Check had 10 million registered users and was processing some $500 million a year in bill payments through its payment platform. The company makes money by charging a 4% fee on credit card transactions made via the app, and last year it made a push to gain more enterprise customers by partnering with Alltel Corp. last June. The partnership allowed Alltel’s 600,000 wireless customers to pay their bill via the Check app.
An Intuit spokesperson says that the Check app will continue to operate following the acquisition, and that Check accounts, bill pay services, and credentials will remain the same. But there’s no word on whether Check will essentially end up like Mint, operating as an independent unit, or whether it will be integrated into Intuit as a new bill paying feature or offering. The company tells me that it will be in a better position to decide how Check will function within Intuit once the acquisition closes.
At last count, the Check team had grown to 100 employees in the U.S. and Israel, all of whom will be welcomed into Intuit. CEO and co-founder Guy Goldstein will become Vice President within Intuit’s Consumer Ecosystem Group and will answer to Barry Saik, SVP and GM of Intuit’s Consumer Ecosystem Group.
“Intuit started when founder Scott Cook wanted a better way to balance the family checkbook,” said Saik, in a statement. “Our commitment to solving important personal finance problems is steadfast. By joining with Check, we continue to address consumer needs and are taking the next step in the evolution of personal finance capabilities.”
Check has raised $47 million to date, including a $24 million round last September led by Menlo Ventures, with help from Morgenthaler Ventures and Pitango Venture Capital.
Intuit acquired Check rival Mint.com back in 2009 for $170 million.
Interestingly, Check only raked in $15 million last year and is expected to generate $20 million in revenue this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. So what was it about Check that justified a $360 million price tag? It could be because of Check's mobile bill paying feature, which allows users to pay their bills without leaving the app. Such a feature would no doubt be hugely desirable to a personal finance behemoth like Intuit.
There's also the fact that Check has always been a mobile-first personal finance platform.
While personal finance services became all the rage a few years ago when the impact of the recession was really reverberating throughout middleclass America, Check (then known as PageOnce) differentiated itself as a mobile-first solution. With push notifications, bill pay options, and the ability to see where you’re spending your money and track your credit score all from your mobile device, Check became one of the leading personal finance platforms.
“Mobile is a key driver of bill pay opportunities,” said Guy Goldstein, in a statement. “We look forward to merging our talent, mobile mindset and spirit of innovation with Intuit to build products that delight consumers and become a part of their everyday financial lives.”
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.
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