When friends Dan Kurzius and Ben Chestnut founded Mailchimp 20 years ago in a tiny, rented office on the west side of Atlanta, their aim was to “empower small businesses to grow”. This week it seems they have done just that for their own organisation, with a $12bn sale of Mailchimp to global software giant Intuit.

A merger with Intuit, best known for its TurboTax and QuickBooks software packages, may not seem a natural marriage for Mailchimp, but the long-term aim of Kurzuiz and Chestnut has been to create an all-in-one marketing platform for small businesses, and they view this merger as an opportunity to accelerate that vision.

“At our core, Mailchimp will always be the humble little monkey that I sketched in those early days, and our mission to empower the underdog will always be our north star.” says Ben Chestnut.

Why Intuit?

The thinking behind this unlikely merger is grounded in the fact that both organisations are focussed on understanding and helping small and mid-sized businesses grow.

“Like Mailchimp, understanding small businesses is embedded in Intuit’s DNA, which affirms my belief that this is the right next step for Mailchimp, our employees, and importantly, our customers. Combining our marketing platform with Intuit’s AI-driven expert platform will allow us to create products and services that solve our customers’ biggest challenges.” says Chestnut.

So how will this look for current Mailchimp users?

First reports suggest not much will change. The Mailchimp name, branding and, most importantly, its user-friendly interface will remain much the same, just bigger and better. Chestnut describes the new Mailchimp as “an innovative small business growth engine powered by marketing automation, customer relationship management, accounting and compliance, payments and expense, and e-commerce solutions, creating a single source of truth for your business.”

What is in it for Intuit?

Being at the centre of small business growth is one of Intuit’s previously published strategic goals and this merger with Mailchimp, a company with a shared passion for empowering small businesses, goes some way to realising that.

“We’re focused on powering prosperity around the world for consumers and small businesses. Together, Mailchimp and QuickBooks will help solve small and mid-market businesses’ biggest barriers to growth, getting and retaining customers,” claimed Sasan Goodarzi, Intuit chief executive.

“Expanding our platform to be at the centre of small and mid-market business growth helps them overcome their most important financial challenges. Adding Mailchimp furthers our vision to provide an end-to-end customer growth platform to help our customers grow and run their businesses, putting the power of data in their hands to thrive.”

Marketers, watch this space!

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