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Why Did Intuit Buy Mailchimp?: 20 Primary Reviews

Intuit’s $12 billion acquisition of Mailchimp in 2021 was one of the largest purchases in the company’s history. This deal united two leading players in financial and marketing software for small businesses. Let’s explore the strategic rationale behind the deal and how it accelerates Intuit’s transformation.

  1. Expanding Intuit’s Small Business Platform

A primary motivation for buying Mailchimp was to expand Intuit’s QuickBooks Online ecosystem into an integrated platform spanning financial management, marketing, sales, and commerce capabilities for SMBs. 

With Mailchimp’s marketing automation tools for email, social, customer messaging, and more, Intuit can offer an all-in-one solution. This creates a “connected financial brain” for managing small business operations.

  1. Growing the Customer Base

The acquisition significantly grows Intuit’s customer reach. Mailchimp serves over 800,000 small businesses with an engaged user base of 13+ million. 

Cross-selling opportunities over time could attract more Mailchimp users to try QuickBooks and TurboTax while upselling QuickBooks customers on Mailchimp’s marketing features.

  1. Complementary Technology and Data Assets 

Together, the technology assets and big data of both companies strengthen development of AI-driven products. Mailchimp’s oceans of customer behavior data complement QuickBooks’ financial data.

These rich insights fuel building “smart” connected platforms using machine learning and automation to serve SMBs. The combined capabilities create an unrivaled small business graph.

  1. Expanding Total Addressable Market 

Adding Mailchimp lets Intuit target the huge global opportunity for SMB marketing software, estimated at over $100 billion. This significantly expands Intuit’s potential market beyond accounting and tax prep software.

  1. Vision of an Open Platform

Intuit’s future roadmap involves transitioning QuickBooks Online into an open platform model. The addition of Mailchimp accelerates building a broad app ecosystem benefiting third-party developers.

This open strategy mirrors how platforms like Shopify and Slack operate. It follows the ethos that the best user experiences come from specialized apps versus a closed suite.

why did intuit buy mailchimp

  1. Leadership in Subscriber Revenue Models

Both Intuit and Mailchimp have proven adept at software-as-a-service subscription models. Together, they can optimize recurring revenue streams and sharing of best practices for customer retention.

  1. Geographical Expansion 

Intuit gains exposure to wider international markets with Mailchimp’s significant overseas presence. 50% of Mailchimp’s customers are outside the U.S. compared to 30% for Intuit.

  1. Shared Organizational Values

Culturally, Mailchimp and Intuit are guided by similar values including a focus on empowering small businesses through technology. Both brands enjoy loyal followings and excellent reputations.

This alignment helps facilitate integration and creates an environment for ongoing innovation.

  1. Growth of AI-Powered Expert Guidance

Intuit is on a multi-year journey to transform its QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Mint products into AI-driven expert platforms. 

With Mailchimp’s data and technology, Intuit can accelerate building an “AI-driven expert for small business” to provide personalized recommendations on financial decisions. This expertise at scale unlocks huge potential for serving customers.

  1. Strong Financial Benefits

Mailchimp is profitable with projected annual revenue around $800 million for 2021. The deal is expected to contribute to EPS immediately and add approximately $500 million in annual recurring revenue to Intuit.

Significant revenue synergies, cost savings, and wider margins are anticipated over time after full integration.

  1. Solid Strategic Fit

Mailchimp neatly complements Intuit’s core strengths in accounting, tax, payroll, and payments software for SMBs. Together, they provide integrated financial management and marketing tools small businesses demand.

Analysts have noted Mailchimp as a compatible, strategically aligned acquisition unlike some past Intuit deals.

  1. Opportunity to Lead SMB Digital Transformation 

Small and mid-size businesses are rapidly adopting cloud software and digital capabilities. Intuit plus Mailchimp can accelerate SMBs’ transformation by centralizing essential operations in one connected platform.

This end-to-end solution manages everything from accounting to email marketing, providing an advantage to customers.

  1. Enhanced Shareholder Value

Intuit has a strong track record of executing acquisitions that enhance shareholder value. Mailchimp is expected to deliver attractive returns and contribute to Intuit’s goal of reaching $20 EPS by 2025. 

The synergies and growth from Mailchimp will boost Intuit’s bottom line results. Investors have responded positively to the deal.

In summary, acquiring Mailchimp significantly advances Intuit’s strategy by growing its customer base, addressable market, global footprint, technology assets, and consumer platform – all while aligning with its core value of powering prosperity for small businesses. This transformative deal cements Intuit as a leading provider of integrated SMB solutions.

  1. Experience in Large Acquisitions

Intuit has successfully executed and integrated large acquisitions before, including Demandforce for $425 million in 2012. Its experience helps manage the complexity of onboarding Mailchimp.

Intuit’s Chief Technology Officer and integration leader Barry Saik was formerly at Salesforce where he led the $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft. His expertise in major deals is invaluable.

  1. Minimal Integration Needed Initially 

A key advantage is that Mailchimp can remain fairly autonomous at first, minimizing immediate integration needs. This allows focus on long-term synergies versus short-term risks.

Mailchimp will operate as a separate business unit, supporting its current customer base while collaboration with QuickBooks Online ramps up.

  1. Strong Founder Alignment

Intuit structured the deal to keep Mailchimp’s founders involved and incentivized. Co-founder and CEO Ben Chestnut joined Intuit’s executive team while Dan Kurzius became Mailchimp’s Chief Strategy Officer.

This founder-first approach where Mailchimp’s leaders stay at the helm will help ensure a smooth transition and retain talent. It mitigates culture clash risks.

  1. Complementary Leadership Teams

Intuit and Mailchimp have seasoned executive teams with complementary skills that are collaborating closely to guide integration. 

Mailchimp adds strong general managers, product development leaders, and marketing expertise to Intuit’s bench.

  1. Experience Facilitating Remote Work 

Intuit and Mailchimp each shifted to primarily remote-first work over the past few years, equipping them well to integrate teams across geographies. Shared knowledge of leading distributed teams will aid collaboration.

  1. Diversification into New Digital Arenas 

Adding Mailchimp provides Intuit with more exposure to high-growth SaaS categories like customer engagement software. This diversification hedges risks and balances out reliance on older businesses like TurboTax.

  1. Economies of Scale

With over 100 million collective global users generating mountains of data, Intuit and Mailchimp can together achieve greater economies of scale related to areas like customer insights, marketing costs, and development resources.

These cost efficiencies and data network effects will benefit ongoing innovation and potentially pricing over time.

In summary, Intuit’s experience, leadership depth, integration planning, and cultural alignment with Mailchimp founders mitigates execution risks and augments opportunities for long-term gains.


Intuit’s blockbuster acquisition of Mailchimp for $12 billion in 2021 was strategic on many levels. It establishes Intuit as the leader in integrated software for small and mid-size businesses. 

Combining Mailchimp’s marketing automation tools with Intuit’s financial management capabilities creates an unrivaled platform managing essential SMB operations. This empowers entrepreneurs with a “connected financial brain” spanning tasks from accounting to email campaigns.

The deal significantly expands Intuit’s customer reach, total addressable market, global footprint, and platform model. Mailchimp’s technology and consumer data assets further Intuit’s AI-driven expert platform ambitions when integrated with QuickBooks and TurboTax.  

Culturally and operationally there is strong alignment between both companies guided by shared values and leadership. Intuit has proven experience executing large acquisitions successfully which de-risks integration.

With Mailchimp, Intuit is poised to accelerate small businesses’ digital transformation by providing an end-to-end solution improving customers’ financial lives. This transformative acquisition cements Intuit’s role as a leader powering the prosperity of entrepreneurs globally.

Key Takeaway

Here are the key takeaways on why Intuit acquired Mailchimp:

– Expands Intuit’s platform into marketing automation to provide an integrated SMB solution.

– Significantly grows Intuit’s customer base and expands its addressable market.

– Combines complementary data assets to build AI-driven products and a small business graph.

– Fits Intuit’s vision of creating an open app platform model.

– Adds global footprint and recurring revenue streams in SaaS model.

– Aligns with Intuit’s organizational values and focus on SMBs. 

– Accelerates Intuit’s “AI-driven expert” capabilities through additional data.

– Expected to contribute immediately to earnings and long-term revenue growth.

– Creates leading end-to-end digital transformation solution for SMB customers.

– Mitigates risks through experienced leadership, integration planning, and cultural alignment. 

– Strengthens Intuit’s competitive positioning and product ecosystem for small businesses.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How much did Intuit pay for Mailchimp?

A: Intuit purchased Mailchimp for approximately $12 billion.

Q: When did Intuit announce the Mailchimp acquisition?

A: The acquisition was announced in September 2021.

Q: How will Mailchimp integrate with QuickBooks?

A: Mailchimp will eventually integrate with QuickBooks to provide combined marketing and financial management capabilities.

Q: Will Mailchimp still operate as a separate business?  

A: Yes, Mailchimp will initially remain a separate business unit with its current leadership.

Q: How many customers does Mailchimp have?

A: Mailchimp serves over 800,000 businesses with around 13 million users.

Q: How does Mailchimp complement Intuit’s other products?

A: It provides marketing automation to combine with Intuit’s small business financial software.

Q: What percentage of Mailchimp’s customers are outside the US?

A: Approximately 50% of Mailchimp’s customers are international.

Q: How is Intuit funding the Mailchimp acquisition?

A: Through cash and incremental debt financing. Intuit expects the deal to immediately contribute to earnings.

Q: Does Mailchimp make Intuit more of a global company?  

A: Yes, Mailchimp expands Intuit’s international presence across global markets.

Q: When will the Mailchimp acquisition close?

A: The deal closed at the end of 2021 after customary closing conditions were met.


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