Mailchimp started in Atlanta in 2001.

Homegrown Atlanta company Mailchimp had already become a globally engaged company, but Monday’s announcement of a $12 billion acquisition by financial software giant Intuit looks to pour more fuel on its international fire. 

Mailchimp’s revenues were not disclosed in the press release announcing the deal, but Intuit noted that half of MailChimp’s 800,000 paid customers were located outside the U.S. 

Mailchimp Co-founder and CEO Ben Chestnut

In addition to offices on the east and west coasts and its home base at Ponce City Market, which co-founder and CEO Ben Chestnut said in a tweet will become Intuit’s foothold in Atlanta, MailChimp has ex-U.S. offices in London and Vancouver and more than 1,200 employees overall. 

The acquisition is one of the largest-ever for a bootstrapped company that has not received outside investment. Intuit said MailChimp will join an existing suite of platforms including TurboTax, CreditKarma, Mint and Quickbooks that serve 100 million customers globally. 

Intuit is seeking to incorporate MailChimp into its plan to become an end-to-end platform fueling small-business growth. Its will integrate most readily with Quickbooks, linking purchase and contact data, helping small businesses manage inventory and cash flow — two key challenges that lead most businesses to fail within five years.

“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,” said Sasan Goodarzi, CEO of Intuit, in a news release.

MailChimp started as an email service provider but has expanded into marketing automations, social media advertising and customer engagement, using artificial intelligence to drive decisions. 

The company has 13 million users worldwide, including 2.4 million active monthly users with data including 70 billion contacts, with AI-driven automations that fuel 2.2 million decisions per day, according to the release.  

Mr. Chestnut said the deal would help Mailchimp serve customers even better.

“We’ll also be able to offer more personalized support and onboarding, expand our international footprint, and scale our teams to innovate faster and deliver the solutions you want and need,” he said.

Intuit will fund the transaction with cash on hand and by taking on $4.5 to $5 billion in new debt. Some $300 million in Mailchimp employee transaction bonuses will be issued as restricted stock units over three years. Intuit will also issue $200 million of restricted stock units to MailChimp employees, with $140 million expensed over four years and $60 million over six months. 

MailChimp was founded in 2001 in Atlanta. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...