Israeli Bill-paying Startup Hits Jackpot With $360 Million Buyout

Check’s smartphone app is used by more than 10 million people to track and pay their bills.

Reuters
Inbal Orpaz
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Brad Smith, chief executive officer of Intuit Inc., which acquires Israeli startup Check.
Brad Smith, chief executive officer of Intuit Inc., which acquires Israeli startup Check.Credit: Bloomberg
Reuters
Inbal Orpaz

Intuit, the American developer of the popular tax-preparation software TurboTax, said on Tuesday that it is buying Check, an Israeli bill-payment service provider, for more than $360 million.

The sale, which was originally reported at the beginning of the month by The Wall Street Journal, will be completed in the fourth quarter, at which time Check will become Intuit’s research and development center in Israel.

Check’s smartphone app is used by more than 10 million people to track and pay their bills, according to the company. The app monitors bank accounts and credit cards, and sends reminders when bills are due or a bank account balance is low.

It is widely considered the most successful independent bill payment app in the United States.

“Through the acquisition, Intuit gains a critical consumer payments capability that will allow the company to streamline interactions between consumers and small business customers,” Intuit said.

Formerly known as PageOnce, Check had raised $49 million from venture capital funds including Pitango, the largest shareholder in the company; Menlo Ventures; and Morgenthaler. The company’s revenues will reach an estimated $20 million this year, up from $15 million in 2013. Check employs about 100 people, half in its Israeli development center, and its headquarters is located in Palo Alto, California.

The deal signed on Friday is the latest in a slew of acquisitions made by Mountain View, California-based Intuit since last year as it expands its suite of tools for individuals and small businesses.

In fact, Check’s app is similar to the pioneer bill payment app developed by Mint, an American company Intuit bought in 2009 for $170 million. Last November, Intuit had agreed to buy Prestwick Services, a workers’ compensation payment solutions provider.

Check was founded in 2007 by CEO Guy Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer Ahikam Kaufman and Nissim Tapiro, all three of whom worked for the Israeli software firm Mercury before it was bought by HP. Check raised $1.5 million in 2008 and another $6 million in 2009. In May 2011 it raised another $11 million in a round led by Morgenthaler in which Pitango also participated. Menlo Ventures led the last fundraising round in October 2013.

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