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Inuit to acquire Mint.com for $170 million

Software company Intuit agreed this week to purchase online personal finance firm Mint.com in a cash transaction valued at approximately $170 million.

Aaron Patzer, founder and CEO of Mint.com, will become GM of Inuit’s personal finance department after the deal is completed, which is expected to occur sometime in the fourth quarter.

“It seemed like a logical fit and a huge opportunity for the Mint team to expand what we are doing and then apply that technology across all of the Quicken brands,” said Donna Wells, CMO at Mint.com.

Although the two companies have not finalized integration details, Wells said that Mint.com’s user experience will not be interrupted. She added that there are no planned staff layoffs. In fact, she said she expects to hire more staffers, thanks to the financial backing of a bigger company.

“Mint.com is still free, and the product road map will be accelerated because of the added resources,” she explained.

Mint, which first launched in 2007, has grown to include 1.5 million registered users. The brand uses social media and e-mail to build its brand loyalty and increase customer acquisition. In August, Mint.com, which uses Silverpop as its e-mail service provider, began using the StrongMail Influencer technology, a tool that lets marketers add a share-to-social feature within an e-mail.

The tool let recipients of Mint.com e-mails share offers to sign up for accounts with their friends, with the chance to win a prize. The tool allows users to share information to social networks including Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, as well as through forward-to-a-friends e-mails.

Mint.com measured that this social e-mail had a 48% open rate. Of those e-mails opened, more than 10% shared the invitation to join with an average of five friends each. Messages that were shared saw a 61% click-through rate among the friends that received them. In the end, for every 2.6 invite clicks on the invitation, one friend converted and signed up to be a Mint.com user.

Wells said the brand will continue to use e-mail as an acquisition tool. An Intuit representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

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