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Intuit CEO talks M&A opportunities and the promise of blockchain

Photo illustration of Intuit's CEO, Sasan Goodarzi, with abstract shapes.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Since taking over as CEO in 2019, Intuit's Sasan Goodarzi has made a string of major acquisitions, buying up Credit Karma for $7.1 billion in 2020 and Mailchimp for $12 billion last year.

Why the deals mattered: The acquisitions were aimed at getting Intuit's customers to use the company's products daily rather than once a month or a few times per year.

Of Note: Mailchimp gave Intuit's critical small business customers the tool of targeted marketing. Credit Karma gave Intuit's retail customers financial products integrated with its TurboTax software.

Lucinda spoke to Goodarzi on Wednesday to see what's next for the company, both in terms of M&A and longer term strategy. This conversation has been edited in places for clarity.

Are you seeing more M&A opportunities, now that valuations are down?

  • Public company valuations are much more attractive, right? And the private valuations are starting to come down. I think the best, for a company like us ... is still ahead, because when the private businesses run out of cash, they have to get valued at a far bigger discount. We believe they will become far more attractive into the spring and summer of next year.
  • But we're not going to accelerate acquisitions for the sake of doing it because things are cheaper. It's really about time-to-market.

You've talked about blockchain as promising technology. Where do you see the opportunity for Intuit?

  • The biggest things that we are investing in is decentralized technologies and blockchain, in addition to machine learning. We're not only investing but running experiments.
  • What we're really interested in with decentralized technologies is the ability to make all of this seamless: To completely automate the process of estimating, invoicing, and to create instant payments.
  • Believe it or not, 70% out of $2 trillion in invoices are still getting paid by check on our platform.

When do you expect we'll hit adoption?

  • We think adoption will be two to three years out. I don't think it's 10 years out.

Do you own some crypto?

  • Bitcoin, but only for experimental reasons, not for investing reasons.
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