From Bootstrapped to Billionaires: Intuit is acquiring Mailchimp for $12B

From Bootstrapped to Billionaires: Intuit is acquiring Mailchimp for $12B

Earlier this week, Intuit (INTU) announced that it was acquiring Mailchimp for a $12B deal with cash and stock. Most people would know Intuit for its accounting software such as QuickBooks, TurboTax, Mint and, more recently, Credit Karma. These applications give Intuit a strong presence in the small and mid-market businesses. The acquisition of Mailchimp further advances its offerings for these customers, providing a more solidified growth opportunity for Intuit.

Ben Chestnut, Co-Founder and CEO of Mailchimp, sent out a note to current customers related to the acqusition and provided some back story to the originations of Mailchimp. Mailchimp was started 20 years ago by Dan Kurzius and Ben Chestnut and their mission was to empower small businesses to grow. Both Co-Founders having come from entrepreneurial families made them both have a passion for building. They always wanted to help their clients and support small businesses. As they say, it's in their DNA.

Mailchimp has been bootstrapped and self-funded since its inception. It never required external funding and is still 100% founder-owned, meaning, once the transaction closes, the Founders and equity holders will be reaping all of the benefits of hard work and perserverance of bootstrapping the business to what it is today. Originally, it started out as a side project when Ben and Dan had a web design agency called the Rocket Science Group. It wasn't until 2007, when it started a freemium model, that the company began to take off. Then, the Founders shifted their focus from their design agency, typically structured around enterprise clients, to Mailchimp and the closer relationship to helping small businesses grow. Over the years Mailchimp has acquired several companies including Reaction Commerce, Chatitive, Courier Media, Inspector 6, Bigteam, and Sawa.

The acquisition, expected to close in the fiscal second quarter of 2022, looks to bring Intuit's AI-driven platform and Mailchimp's marketing platforms together. The expectation is that this will create products and services that are synergistic across the SMB spectrum. According to Chestnut's email, Mailchimp will still remain the same tool that everybody has come to know and love.

Congratulations to the Founders! It's always nice to see a bootstrapped startup success story.

Mark E. Chiles is the Founder of Overwrite Media and has an extensive two-decade career in progressive technology and digital media. He's been a speaker at several conferences related to digital marketing, media, and customer data. Connect with him on Twitter @markechiles or on LinkedIn.