Mailchimp bought by Intuit

So the world’s leading mass mailer (Mailchimp) has been bought by a corporate giant known for making US taxes unnecessarily complicated, in a deal worth $12bn.

Mailchimp has had a huge impact on email by changing mass-mail marketers technology and the expectations of mass-mail recipients (eg everyone). They offer thousands of free emails a month and an easy to use web interface, resulting in millions more businesses getting into email marketing.

Fun fact: the first release of the self-hosted version of phpList, around which my last company was built, occurred the same year that Mailchimp was founded :mantelpiece_clock: How time flies!

DecisionMarketing gives some context about Mailchimp’s current size:

Mailchimp currently caters to more than 13 million users globally, of which 2.4 million are active users. It has around 800,000 paid customers, of which more than 50% are outside the US.

Mailchimp has a database of more than 70 billion contacts, as well as technology integration with more than 250 partners worldwide, which will allow Intuit to cross selling its other products.

BoingBoing reckons this is the end of Mailchimp:

Intuit […] is the ultimate sprawling corporate parasite, despised by every tricked taxpayer, an eyeless life-form lurking in the deepest depths of rent-seeking, regulatory capture and political lobbying.

So long, Mailchimp!

I’ll be happy if the merger results in an opening up of the mass-mailer market to smaller and more diverse competitors, including the few Open Source companies in this field like phpList, OpenEMM, and CiviCRM.


Maybe I’m old school, but if it has 800K subscribers, at $100/month = $80M/month or $1Billion/year. So the company was sold for 16x REVENUE!
I would assume that many of the Chimpmail customers also use Intuit for accounting and tax software, so I don’t see how it creates enough revenue to justify a return on the price paid…
Just sayin’

@danwaterloo Welcome! Great to see you here :grinning:

Interesting point about the sale price… They looked to always target smaller businesses and sole traders, from their marketing. So yeah avg. $100 / customer / month sounds about right.

I’m guessing they have world class account management and lock-in though. And what about all those legacy Mandrill customers? Maybe they’re on larger Mailchimp plans, generating $ ?

Apparently Intuit knows something we don’t…

A couple of years ago I was kicked off of Mandrill, in that they changed the rules to only allow emails generated by mailchimp. If I didn’t like, they said, I could go over to Amazon SES, which I did. By the way, it was 10x less expensive, and the deliverabilty went up (!).
Maybe they made exceptions for the ‘whales’ of email sending… ?

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:grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Nice own goal there then. I remember it happening at the time and thought it was a very bold (!) decision. Kind of assumed they’d found a way to keep the old customers on Mailchimp somehow, on a new pricing tier or something. Interesting to hear that wasn’t the case!
Surprised about the deliverability though - SES has had a reputation for spam in some places (eg Mailop mailing list) so I assumed they’d be on many blocklists. Good for you though!