Why Intuit just acquired Mailchimp for $12B

Intuit helps small businesses operate with QuickBooks, TurboTax and Credit Karma. Mailchimp is a tool to help acquire and retain customers to these services.

Mailchimp is an email marketing platform.

There’s a high likelihood that you either use it, have received an email from it, or were uncomfortably bombarded with direct-response podcast ads about it.

On Monday, the Atlanta-based company, which has never raised a dollar of venture capital, was acquired by Intuit for $12B and an additional $200m in stocks for its 1.2k employees.

The deal is all about small business

Intuit already owns QuickBooks (accounting software), TurboTax (tax prep software), Credit Karma (personal finance), and Mint (also personal finance).

These services are used by 100m customers globally to run their business operations (Intuit’s revenue hit $9.6B in its last fiscal year).

As noted by Intuit, though, 50% of small businesses fail within 5 years. Failing businesses mean customers churning out of Intuit’s core software tools.

Enter Mailchimp

Founded by Ben Chestnut and Mark Armstrong in 2001, the company offers tools for users to attract and retain customers:

  • Website storefront builders
  • Marketing solutions (email, social ads, landing pages)
  • Engagement tools (content studio, analytics, automated campaigns)

Mailchimp already has 13m users, and sales hit ~$800m in 2020. Notably, 95% of revenue is recurring (translation: people like the service enough to hit “renew”).

Following the acquisition…

… users can now combine Mailchimp’s email list with QuickBooks’ buying information.

According to Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi, this is a big unlock because small businesses can match “marketing” with “purchasing behavior” to better target customers.

Our prediction: TurboTax’s “get your refund” email marketing campaign during tax season will be hitting overdrive.

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