Intuit Plans to Sell QuickBase Business to Private Equity FirmBy
Transaction part of divesture of three units by company
Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe acquires growing business
Intuit Inc. will sell its QuickBase software-development unit to a private equity firm as part of a broader effort to unload three of its divisions and focus on its main tax and small-business units.
QuickBase, which helps businesses create applications, will be purchased by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe LP, according to a joint statement Tuesday. Terms weren’t disclosed. The unit, which joined Mountain View, California-based Intuit through an acquisition in 1999, will operate as a stand-alone company with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Welsh Carson said.
“We were really a hidden gem buried within Intuit, and we view this very much as our coming-out party,” Allison Mnookin, who will become CEO of the company with the transaction, said in an interview. “It’s a great opportunity for the QuickBase business.”
Intuit said last year it would sell some of its divisions as the cloud-based software provider shifted its focus toward small businesses and handling taxes in the U.S. and Canada. The divestitures -- which also include Demandforce and Quicken, the home-accounting software -- have garnered about $500 million and should be completed by the end of this quarter, Chief Financial Officer R. Neil Williams said last month on a call with analysts.
QuickBase, with more than 200 employees, is breaking away from its parent with healthy financial results, Mnookin said. The unit’s revenue has been growing about 33 percent annually while being profitable. The business had more than $70 million in sales through the fiscal year that closed in July, Mnookin said.
“With increased focus and investment, such as doubling product development funding over the next three years, the company can even better serve its customers and capitalize on the multibillion-dollar opportunity ahead,” Michael Donovan, a general partner at the private equity firm, said in a statement.
QuickBase provides tools that help customers easily build and customize software without a lot of technical expertise. For example, the products have helped retailers manage construction projects and have assisted manufacturers with purchasing processes.
“Intuit started the QuickBase journey believing it would be a small business-focused business,” Mnookin said. Yet “two thirds of our revenue, it turns out, comes from businesses larger than Intuit’s target -- more the mid market and enterprise space.”
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