MOUNTAIN VIEW -- Intuit's accounting software options are growing again: The maker of Quicken and TurboTax announced Tuesday that it has committed roughly $360 million to the acquisition of Check, a Palo Alto startup that allows users to pay bills with their mobile devices.
Established in 2008, Check started off as an attempt to bring many disparate activities into a single mobile application called PageOnce, but pivoted to a free app focused on paying and managing bills while receiving nearly $50 million in venture financing from Menlo Ventures and others. Upon receiving its most recent $24 million round of financing in September, the company said it had nearly 10 million customers on its platform processing half a billion dollars in payments annually.
"Mobile is a key driver of bill pay opportunities," Check CEO and cofounder Guy Goldstein, who will take on a vice president role at Intuit, said in Tuesday's announcement. "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."
Intuit has used acquisitions in an attempt to keep up with the rapidly changing software industry, which has moved from selling boxed software through retail outlets to delivering platforms over the Internet and through mobile apps. The Mountain View company kicked it off in 2009 with the $170 million purchase of Mint.com -- which, like Check, sought to bring users' finances and debts from several entities into a single, consumer-facing product -- and has since acquired companies such as DocStoc, Full Slate and Lettuce to help round out its offerings.
In its news release Tuesday morning, Intuit sold the deal as a more active offering for consumers, with Quicken and Mint giving "customers a look back at their transactions to help them plan for the future" while Check allows users "to take action with their money and help them accomplish everyday financial tasks."
"Intuit started when founder Scott Cook wanted a better way to balance the family checkbook," Intuit executive Barry Saik said in Tuesday's announcement. "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."
Saik leads Intuit's consumer ecosystem group, which the Check team in the Bay Area will join, with Goldstein reporting to Saik. Check also has a strong presence in Israel, and that office will remain and become Intuit's presence in that growing hotbed of startup activity. The deal is expected to close in Intuit's current fiscal quarter, which ends July 31.
Intuit is the 22nd largest public technology company in Silicon Valley in terms of sales, accruing revenues of $4.22 billion and producing net income of $758 million in the 2013 calendar year. The company's cash reserves stood at nearly $1.4 billion at the end of last year.
Intuit shares gained 0.7 percent Tuesday to $80.14 and have increased 38.4 percent in the past year.
Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/jowens510.