Investors worried about the lack of payoffs in this recession can take heart from the deal confirmed on stage at this morning’s TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco: Personal finance software giant Intuit will buy the upstart start-up Mint.com for $170 million.
It was only in February of this year that Intuit lawyers sent Mint a threatening letter, questioning the company’s claims of how rapidly it was adding new users. But the two sides must have found some common ground as well, as Aaron Patzer was all aglow in talking about how he’ll continue to run Mint while it becomes a part of Intuit.
Mint was shaping up as a classic disruptor, bringing easy-to-use Web 2.0 technology to the intimidating world of personal finance. Such online applications have often confounded traditional software companies like Intuit, which sells the popular Quicken line of products. For now, at least, Intuit will continue to run Quicken.com alongside Mint.com, but it’s clear Intuit is looking to acquire more than new customers. It also hopes to get some of Mint’s innovative mojo.
Mint launched two years ago at the same TechCrunch conference, taking a $50,000 prize as a promising start-up. It raised $32 million in three rounds of venture capital.