Credit Karma to gain a footing in the U.K.
London's calling for Credit Karma's expanding business.
The San Francisco fintech announced on Monday that it had agreed to acquire TransUnion’s U.K.-based Noddle. The price was not disclosed.
Noddle provides British consumers with free, unlimited access to credit reports and scores from TransUnion. Noddle and its parent company, Callcredit, were acquired by TransUnion in June.
Noddle was originally supposed to develop into the Credit Karma of the U.K., said Ryan Gilbert, a partner at the Bay Area venture capital firm Propel Venture Partners.
"TransUnion realized they are not that good at running these types of models, therefore they found a home with Credit Karma," Gilbert said. "The U.K. is a logical cross-market for them, given the large population and a high consumption of credit. Although there are a much smaller number of banks, which makes a product like Credit Karma even more important — they can really compare the various offers from those number of banks closely."
Noddle’s 35 employees and 4 million customers will join Credit Karma after the acquisition's approval by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority in late 2018 or early 2019.
Credit Karma, which is valued at $4 billion, serves more than 85 million members in the U.S. and Canada. It plans to more than double its U.K. workforce over the next 12 months.
Credit Karma will provide access to credit reports and scores from TransUnion as well as free services to monitor and grow credit. In the U.S., the company offers products that monitor and improve credit health, prepare and file taxes, and provides identity monitoring and auto insurance estimates. In doing so, it produces leads for its lender advertisers.
“Noddle’s similar mission and history as the first provider of free credit information in the U.K. made this a clear decision for Credit Karma,” Valerie Wagoner, Credit Karma’s vice president of international, said in a press release.
“This deal represents an expansion of our mission to the United Kingdom, and we look forward to supporting Credit Karma as they continue to expand globally," John Danaher, TransUnion’s president of consumer interactive, said in the release.