In what's believed to be the most expensive acquisition of a private boot-strapped company, Intuit has confirmed that it will acquire Mailchimp for $12 billion. It will add the customer engagement platform to its portfolio of accounting and financial solutions -- Turbo Tax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks and Mint. Like those solutions, Mailchimp's offering is primarily targeted at small and mid-sized businesses.
Mailchimp was founded in 2001 as an email platform but has gradually grown into an integrated automation and engagement solution. Last year, it launched Smart Platform, making AI-driven next-best-action and product recommendations available to its SMB market. Intuit currently serves about 100 million customers worldwide; Mailchimp has 13 million global customers. Intuit expects to finance the acquisition through cash on hand and approximately $4.5 billion in new debt.
Mailchimp played a shrewd long game, boot-strapping itself from an email solution with a cute name to a marketing platform with a significant international presence -- a presence its acquisition by Intuit is likely to increase. Its avowed mission was to provide enterprise-level technology at prices SMBs can afford.
By adding Mailchimp to its existing roster of solutions, Intuit moves towards being a one-stop-shop for SMB tech needs serving an enormous global market. $12 billion is a sizeable price tag, but less than half of what Salesforce paid for Slack in July of this year.