Nerdwallet acquires UK’s Know Your Money as it expands outside the US
Nerdwallet, which provides resources for people looking for a new credit card, loan, insurance or other financial product or just financial advice, is making a move today to spearhead a move into international markets. The startup is acquiring Know Your Money, a Norwich-based startup that provides a similar range of comparison and information tools geared at people who live in the UK.
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, Nerdwallet said. Know Your Money will become Nerdwallet’s first operation outside of the US and will spearhead the company’s efforts for further international expansion under international general manager Megan Tedford.
The deal underscores the quiet growth of the San Francisco-based startup, which now has 160 million users. It last raised money in 2015 — $100 million ($69 million in equity, and the rest in a credit note) — at a valuation of about $520 million. It hasn’t updated that number since, but has been profitable and has no plans to raise more funding for the moment. Investors include IVP, RRE Ventures, iGlobe Partners and Silicon Valley Bank.
Nerdwallet has also expanded significantly since that time, and currently makes more than $150 million annually in revenues. For some more context, Nerdwallet competes directly with companies like Credit Karma (which has 100 million users and was acquired by Intuit earlier this year for $7.1 billion), Credit Sesame (which last year estimated that it’s valued at around $1 billion), along with a number of other marketplaces that both provide advice and financial content, as well as cost comparison services to weigh up the relative costs of different offers for various financial products.
Nerdwallet describes Know Your Money as the UK’s largest comparison site, with some 5 million consumers and 1.2 million businesses using its products last year in the past year, which include looking for and opening bank accounts, getting loans and arranging mortgages, and getting insurance.
“We’re looking forward to joining forces with NerdWallet and building on the fantastic work our team has done helping consumers learn about, evaluate and compare financial products,” said Jason Tassie, who co-founded Know Your Money with John Ellmore, in a statement. “Working with NerdWallet will help us accelerate our existing growth plans, expanding our content library, tools and guides to offer users more support in financial decision making. Know Your Money and NerdWallet are perfectly aligned in their goal of empowering people to make better, more-informed financial decisions.”
Tedford said that the whole process of finding and negotiating with Know Your Money started ahead of the pandemic but was essentially carried out over Zoom with travel all but completely halted in February of this year — a strange circumstance but one everyone has learned to live with.
That pandemic may not have spurred this deal but has underscored where the opportunity might be for both companies, as consumers are increasingly carrying out more of their financial lives online but also hoping to be more fiscally in control as economies totter and fall into recession.
“The pandemic has created a surge in demand for financial guidance and products in areas like refinance and investing — we’ve seen record visits to our site in these areas this year. Expansion to the UK is an important step towards our vision of a world where every consumer makes financial decisions with confidence,” said Tim Chen, Co-Founder and CEO of NerdWallet, in a statement. “Consumers are looking for a greater level of help, and with Know Your Money, we want to be there providing the guidance to as many people, across as many topics and in as many places as possible. Know Your Money has done a fantastic job helping consumers find and compare financial products and we’re looking forward to accelerating that work through this partnership.”