Never Raised Venture Capital, Bootstrapped MailChimp Sells for $12 Billion

Never Raised Venture Capital, Bootstrapped MailChimp  Sells for $12 Billion

MailChimp has been acquired by Intuit for $12 billion. I am not necessarily sure where MailChimp fits  into the Intuit playbook, except maybe QuickBooks, which has a dose of small and medium scale businesses which can be juiced by what MailChimp has prepared.  Intuit has a history of picking winners when you look at Mint, Credit Karma and other recent properties. In short, I have a playbook after Intuit which I called Fish Bait Acquisition Construct by merely observing how the tax-filing giant picks companies.

Founded in 2001, Mailchimp’s landmark cloud service enables businesses to design and send promotional emails and newsletters to customers. The company have since expanded, launching a software that allows online sellers to include a link to their ecommerce stores, a development which some speculate has contributed to the firm’s high asking-price. The company are still owned by their founders, and – surprisingly – have never raised venture capital.

Yet, that Intuit is spending $12 billion (about 8% of its market cap) in cash and stock to swallow MailChimp is not the main story; the main thing is that MailChimp generates close to $1 billion annual revenue now (extrapolated), and has NEVER raised a single venture capital dime! Yes, $0.00 venture funds. 

There are many things to learn about this company – expect many case studies from business schools. Yes, a company never raised venture funds, grew revenue to $1 billion and exited at $12 billion. That is a great business mission, executed!

The acquisition press release below.

Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU), the global technology platform that makes TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint, and Credit Karma, today announced that it has agreed to acquire Mailchimp, a world-class, global customer engagement and marketing platform for growing small and mid-market businesses. The planned acquisition of Mailchimp for approximately $12 billion in cash and stock advances Intuit’s mission of powering prosperity around the world, and its strategy to become an AI-driven expert platform. With the acquisition of Mailchimp, Intuit will accelerate two of its previously-shared strategic Big Bets: to become the center of small business growth; and to disrupt the small business mid-market.

Together, Intuit and Mailchimp will work to deliver on the vision of an innovative, end-to-end customer growth platform for small and mid-market businesses, allowing them to get their business online, market their business, manage customer relationships, benefit from insights and analytics, get paid, access capital, pay employees, optimize cash flow, be organized and stay compliant, with experts at their fingertips. Delivering on the promise to be the single source of truth, small and mid-market businesses will have the power to combine their customer data from Mailchimp and QuickBooks’ purchase data to get the actionable insights they need to grow and run their businesses with confidence.

The Fish Bait Acquisition Construct


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One thought on “Never Raised Venture Capital, Bootstrapped MailChimp Sells for $12 Billion

  1. There are largely two types of founders, those with both ideas and capital, and those with only ideas, we have more of the latter in this part of the world, and when you are in that position, trying to build without raising funds isn’t even a choice, it’s the only option available.

    Again, where you operate seems to inflate the valuation and patronage, what is listed as MailChimp services are things people code and launch here, but they barely get a look in.

    Many things that answer businesses elsewhere are yet to become businesses here, for known and unknown reasons. The challenge is that there’s no wait time, because the foreign platforms usually have global outlook, so as you try to build and market here, the same people you consider your market are already using the foreign platforms.

    No easy way, but it can only get more interesting, going forward.


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