As a business in the Washington D.C. area that began as a startup, we are always happy here at Webs to hear about the growth and success of startups in our neck of the woods. It’s always an exciting time when a large, successful company recognizes the potential of a startup to have a great impact within their own business. Such is the case with yesterday’s announced acquisition of HelloWallet by on of its investors, Morningstar Inc.
In case you aren’t familiar, HelloWallet offers software that enables companies to provide their employees with advice for making better financial decisions. Bill Flook of the Washington Business Journal called HelloWallet “a sort of Mint.com for the enterprise.” The company was founded in 2009 by Dr. Matt Fellowes, with the mission of democratizing access to independent financial guidance.
On Thursday, Morningstar, which is in the finance business itself, announced that it will acquire HelloWallet for $52.5 million in the coming days. This is perhaps not a huge surprise, as Morningstar invested $6.75 million with HelloWallet in a 2012 Series B funding round (a stake now worth $13.5 million). For those keeping score, that means that the ticket price for HelloWallet will actually be $39 million for Morningstar.
One thing that won’t be changing? Matt Fellowes will remain with HelloWallet in a leadership role. Another aspect of the business that we sincerely hope remains intact (no reason to think it wouldn’t, just saying) is the company’s social mission. For every five memberships they sell, they provide their financial wellness software to a family or individual in need.
On a final note, if you’ve never visited HelloWallet’s website, go take a look. Whether you need financial advice software or not, it’s never a bad idea to check out an attractive, engaging website.