Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Intuit to Acquire Mailchimp

Intuit (Hacker News):

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.


Founded in Atlanta, GA in 2001, Mailchimp began by offering email marketing solutions, and evolved into a global leader in customer engagement and marketing automation fueled by a powerful, cutting-edge AI-driven technology stack.


Update (2021-09-17): Ben Bergman (via Hacker News):

When employees were recruited to work at Mailchimp there was a common refrain from hiring managers: No, you are not going to get equity, but you will get to be part of a scrappy company that fights for the little guy and we will never be acquired or go public.

The founders told anyone who would listen they would own Mailchimp until they died and bragged about turning down multiple offers.


Employees reacted with shock and anger over text, Slack, and Twitter to the deal. They described feelings of betrayal and a cash windfall that seemed to only benefit those at the very top of the 20-year-old company.

Update (2021-11-12): Ben Bergman:

Big update to my Mailchimp story:

Employees got no equity but were promised transaction bonuses.

Employees finally found out the amount today and were "devastated" by how paltry they were — in the tens of thousands of dollars for longtime workers.

Gergely Orosz:

How to mess up an acquisition: do what Intuit is doing with Mailchimp and their longtime employees.

Given how it’s M&A 101 that you do not cut anyone’s pay if you want to retain them, and given that Intuit has competent people, this points to this:

Intuit never wanted to keep many of Mailchimp’s employees. They wanted the customers and the cashflow Mailchimp brings.

6 Comments RSS · Twitter

This thread from Jason Scott is enlightening about this:

Beatrix Willius

In the last years MailChimp tried to become a marketing platform instead of an email sending company. I hated what they did. Super confusing interface. Really odd stuff like a horizontal scrollbar below the header of a listbox which wouldn't even scroll properly.

I've started moving to Encharge in spring. Not as many features but the basic interface is so much better. I'm just waiting for RSS to email support in Encharge and then I can get rid of MailChimp.

Basically abandoned them several years ago when they made restrictive changes to how contact lists could be managed which destroyed the workflow I had created.

Fully deleted my account today after learning of the Intuit purchase then exporting my past campaigns.

I use, a self hosted go binary in conjunction with Amazon SES to send out my newsletters. Its cheap and reliable.

Is there any particular reason devs and other advanced folk don't simply DIY email? It's not anything like the impossible thing the FUD from these various ESPs say it is--not easy, sure, but scarcely difficult if you keep your head and know the ropes. You can always configure your MTA to route through Amazon SES or whatever if you want to ride Amazon's reputation (but note that it's not a given it will work even with big providers). Many low-cost self-hosted web apps (I just looked at Sendy) will talk to Amazon SES direct as well. What is it, specifically, you need Mailchimp to do?

@Sebby Good question. I haven’t figured out whether Mailchimp has a secret sauce that makes it worth it, or if it’s just easy to use and has good marketing. It’s so much more expensive than Amazon SES.

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