Since launching and winning the top spot at our TechCrunch40 conference three weeks ago, personal-finance startup Mint has been on a roll. On Friday, Mint was named Best of Show at the 2007 Financial Innovations conference (along with peer-to-peer lender Prosper and mortgage-finder Mortgagebot).
CEO Aaron Patzer reports to us that, in just the past three weeks, Mint has already helped organize more than $2 billion worth of people’s personal financial accounts, and identified more than $40 million in potential savings for those members. (Mint helps you find better interest rates on bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial products). Interest in the site spiked right after TC40. At one point, Mint was signing up a new member every five seconds. Not bad for a service from a previously-unknown startup that asks for access to all of your private financial data, including your bank and credit-card accounts.
Apparently, getting consumers to give up that level of privacy, has not been an issue so far. (The old axiom is true: people really will do anything to save a buck). Now comes the hard part. Getting all those people to keep coming back past the initial stage of curiosity.
Update: I asked Mint CEO Patzer for some more details on how many people are using Mint, and he responded with the following data. Keep in mind, this is only 18 days worth of data and thus should be treated as extremely preliminary (these are early adopters, so they may be more likely to embrace such a service and use it more often than a mainstream user):
—That $2 billion is spread across 50,000 registered users.
—About 70 percent (or 35,000) have come back more than once.
—Those who have been in the system at least a week (including beta testers), visit Mint.com 2-3 times a week.
—About 10 percent (or 5,000) come to the site every day.
—And 10 percent have signed up for mobile alerts.
(See also his comments below about the lengths Mint goes to secure customer data).