Yesterday, TurboTax maker Intuit announced a deal to buy email-marketing pioneer Mailchimp for an amount that is absolutely bananas: $12 billion.
Mailchimp, founded in 2001, is based in Atlanta and still founder-owned. It began as a web-design agency and ran an email-marketing service on the side that later became its focus. Today, it also provides other digital-ad services and CRM tools. It had about $800 million in annual revenue last year, a 20% rise from the year earlier.
Intuit, which is known for financial service offerings like TurboTax and Credit Karma, said it will use the acquisition to accelerate growth among small business clients. It marks the company’s largest acquisition to date. Last year, the company purchased Credit Karma for more than $8 billion.
Short Squeez Takeaway: The reason the valuation of $12 billion comes as a surprise is because Mailchimp is completely bootstrapped and hasn't ever raised outside capital, which sets valuation marks. It has been profitable from day one, a notable contrast to literally every start-up ever, especially SaaS start-ups. Kudos to founders Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius.