Early this week, Mint.com was acquired by Intuit (two years after launching) for about $170 million. Intuit, a $10 billion dollar company is perhaps best known as the maker of Quicken, QuickBooks, and TurboTax.
The significance of this acquisition goes beyond the typical business strategy of eliminating a potential competitor for Intuit but a validation of hosted applications gaining traction in the market. Unlike your mainstream applications such as Word, Excel and email, Mint is a vertical application completely hosted in the cloud. With over 1.5 million users, Mint.com is a free financial online services that lets users create budgets, pay bills, manage credit card accounts, among other features.
This means more small businesses are adopting and leverage the hosted model to run their financial systems offsite. The packaged software business will continue to flow applications into the cloud as online services becomes widely adopted.