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Google is bullish on free credit reports, apparently.
Google Capital, the search giant’s newest venture fund, has poured $85 million into Credit Karma, a San Francisco-based startup that provides free credit scores to consumers.
People visiting Credit Karma can take a free peek at their credit score weekly, which is based primarily on information from credit-rating agency TransUnion. The site has over 20 million registered folks, up from about 9 million a year ago, according to chief executive Ken Lin.
Credit Karma requires a Social Security number to open an account, but it doesn’t store that information. Lin also said that it doesn’t plan to begin sharing information about its members with Google following the investment. The startup earns its revenue from advertising, which is primarily for financial services like credit cards and loans.
Google Capital financed roughly half of the $85 million round, with the rest coming from Tiger Global, Ribbit Capital, and Susquehanna Growth Equity.
With its total financing now at $118.5 million, Credit Karma plans to double its 110-employee workforce and introduce new products over the coming year. The firm has made it clear that it aims to provide free services for which consumers have traditionally had to shell out their hard-earned dough.
Credit Karma offers a new way to track your credit score and a unique way to benefit from it. For the first time you can get a truly free credit score with no hidden costs or obligations. Based on your score, you gain access to exclusi... read more »
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