The San Francisco Business Times last week announced winners of its Tech and Innovation Awards honoring the Bay Area’s most innovative and enterprising technology companies. Finovate alum Credit Karma was named Best Financial Technology Company, one of 25 winners.
Credit Karma was selected from an applicant pool of more than 300 companies in 11 categories who were judged based on their growth, differentiation from competitors, and how well they are revolutionizing their space.
Shortly after the awards announcement the SF Business Times published a piece about Credit Karma’s success. The article boasts that the San Francisco-based company is the third highest-valued venture-backed U.S. financial company, and has achieved this status with a business model that gives away a service for free.
In the piece, the SF Business Times notes a few key stats:
- $3.5 billion valuation
- Counts 50 million users in the U.S. (that’s 1 in 4 American adults)
- $368.5 million in funding
- 400 employees (up from 27 five years ago)
- Founded in 2009
Credit Karma debuted its Debt Manager at FinovateSpring 2009, and has since come a long way. In addition to providing free credit scores that pull data from Equifax and TransUnion, the company helps consumers manage their financial health. The site hosts tools, such as a credit-score simulator, a debt-repayment calculator, and home affordability information, that empower users to make good decisions about their finances.
Credit Karma makes money by partnering with lenders and credit card companies to pitch tailored product suggestions based on a consumer’s financial health. Partner sites include Payoff and Upstart for loans and Chase and Barclayard for credit card offers.