What catches your eye when it comes to fintech headlines? A big IPO? A major venture capital investment? Or a huge move on the M&A front?
For those whose eyebrows bounce highest when a major acquisition is the talk of the day, one reason why is that acquisitions often but not always signal a major recognition of value in both an individual company and in a line of business. If a venture capitalist investing in a startup is putting its money where its mouth is, then an incumbent acquiring a startup is putting its business where its mouth is, and that’s a moment worth paying attention to.
In this context, NerdWallet’s decision to acquire U.K.-based Know Your Money – announced over the weekend – is a testament to the way personal finance comparison platforms are helping consumers navigate the world of loans, mortgages, and small business banking. A financial service price comparison site in operation for fifteen years, Know Your Money helps consumers in the U.K. by providing deals on financial products and services from brands ranging from Virgin Money and Funding Circle to ANNA and Countingup.
“Recently, the volatility of the stock market, unemployment, and plunging interest rates have consumers facing financial challenges they’ve never dealt with before and searching for content and products to help them navigate their new normal,” NerdWallet CEO Tim Chen said. “Because of this, there has never been a better time to expand the reach of our financial guidance and grow our business, and there is no better place to start than the U.K.”
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. But NerdWallet’s interest in expanding to the U.K. likely comes as welcome news to a financial services community that has seen a number of fintech departures from the country in 2020. To this end, post acquisition, the Know Your Money team will become a NerdWallet subsidiary, with all of the company’s executive and workers remaining with the firm. Know Your Money is the premier financial services website in the U.K. with more than five million consumers and 1.2 million businesses using its platform.
San Francisco, California-based NerdWallet was founded in 2009 and has raised $105 million in funding from investors including Camelot Financial Capital Management and IVP. Know Your Money is the personal finance company’s second acquisition; NerdWallet purchased retirement planning firm aboutLife in 2016. NerdWallet boasts 160 million users and annual revenues of more than $150 million.