Making a “Mint” in Tough Times

Why bad times are good for this startup

Talk about riding a wave: Here's a startup getting props, coast-to-coast, from an Obama insider and Silicon Valley venture capitalists.  It's a good time to be, a startup that focuses on your finances, even if times aren't all that good for the financial industry.

First, Mint got a shout-out from Obama's CTO Aneesh Chopra, who told everyone that he uses the money-management site, both on his computer and on his mobile phone.  Not a bad endorsement.  But, of course, that's not what keeps the lights on.  $14 million in the bank, courtesy of a new financing round led by The Founders Fund and Benchmark Capital, took care of that.

When we first met Mint, it was a tiny startup that let you follow your money trail, make a budget, and track your check-writing.  Now, you can track investments, and manage your whole financial world.  The company claims 1.4 million users, who save as much as 300 million dollars by following the tips you get as a (free) member.

It's another classic tech story:  Company does well, when the rest of the economy struggles.  Silicon Valley's history is full of ideas that prosper when times are tough, and is the latest example.  Pinching pennies?  Worried about the future?  Here's a way to track what you do, and keep a close eye on your finances.  And it seems to be working.  Mint is still private, and won't talk about revenues ..  except to say they're up by a factor of eight from this time last year.

You can try Mint. both on the web, and as a phone app.  Depending on how much you want to track your finances, it doesn't take much to set up.  My guess is, some people find it very worthwhile, others tire of it quickly.  But for those who are hooked, don't worry about Mint going away anytime soon.  The company just got 14 million reasons to stick around.

Have you tried  Let Scott know what you think. Twitter: @scottbudman
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