Intuit buys Credit Karma for $7.1B in cash, stock

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Intuit Inc., the software giant behind TurboTax, is buying personal finance website Credit Karma Inc. for about $7.1 billion in cash and stock.

The transaction is expected to “be neutral to accretive” to Intuit’s adjusted earnings per share in the first full fiscal year after the transaction closes, the company said in a statement Monday.

San Francisco-based Credit Karma has garnered more than 100 million users by offering free credit scores since it was founded in 2007. Since then, the financial technology startup has introduced a number of other offerings including the ability to apply for a credit card, find an auto loan or even start a savings account.

In 2017, Credit Karma began offering free tax preparation and filing, putting it in direct competition with Intuit's TurboTax. In its first year, the company said it filed approximately 1 million tax returns, according to a company official who spoke to Accounting Today.

Credit Karma generated almost $1 billion in unaudited revenue last year, up 20 percent from 2018, Intuit said.

The Intuit offer comes as fintech companies are at a crossroad where a number of them are established enough to go public, but a spate of poor-performing IPOs are making acquisitions more attractive. At the same time, incumbent companies in the field aren’t afraid to snap up these startups as a way to fuel their own growth.“The fertile M&A market, shift to growth stage investments, and rich valuations open the door for a lot of discussions, as well as distractions,” said Lindsay Davis, an analyst at CB Insights. “Fintech startups will have a choice to take a deal or buckle down and focus on filling product gaps.”

Bloomberg News
Intuit Tax prep software M&A Accounting software Credit reporting