Jan 30, 2014

MailChimp’s Integration Fund: Nearly $3M Paid, $1M More Pledged

Update (3/16/16): Mandrill is now an add-on for paid monthly MailChimp accounts, and is no longer available as a standalone service. Existing Mandrill users have until April 27, 2016 to merge their Mandrill account with a MailChimp account. See this article for additional details, including pricing information and instructions for merging your accounts.

Update (5/15/15): After pledging $4 million to developers with great ideas, we’ve discontinued our integration fund. To learn more about the 750+ web services that connect with MailChimp, visit our Integrations Directory.

When we originally launched our integration fund in November of 2010, we pledged $1 million to provide developers with funding assistance to build integrations on our email platform. The fund speaks to our business philosophy—namely, that’s it’s wise to start small, fund yourself with paying projects, and build up a strong API. Especially if you’re a startup that’s still trying to find its business model, we think it’s smart to focus on your API before going the "hire a sales team/marketing rock star" route.

New focus and another $1 million

We’ve tended to stay pretty flexible with the fund, which allows us to change as we learn things. And we’ve learned a lot over the last 3 years, which is why the fund has shifted in some ways. In 2012, we realized how powerful our customers found our e-commerce API calls, so we refocused the fund to encourage more development between shopping cart applications and MailChimp. Once again, we’re ready to refocus. Today we’re announcing another $1 million to fund developers building on our transactional email service, Mandrill. For those who aren’t aware, we launched Mandrill 18 months ago, and it’s grown to more than 90,000 users from all over the world. It’s a bit different from MailChimp, in that it’s built from the ground up to be nothing but an API.

So, where’d that original million go?

Good question, and the response was overwhelming to say the least. We received more than 1000 applications for funding, and you’ve likely seen posts (or press releases) over the past few years about some of the integrations that have come out of the fund. There are many more of them listed in the Integrations Directory.

We’ve been busy, but more importantly, you guys have been busy building all kinds of awesome stuff using our API. In fact, I recently checked in with the finance team, and it turns out we’ve given out close to $3 million in funding since the original announcement in 2010. So much for that $1 million pledge!

At the heart of the integration fund (and our open API) is the idea that building an ecosystem of connected applications makes it easy for people and businesses to have the data they need, no matter where they’re working (in their CRM, their CMS, in MailChimp, etc.).

Naturally, we want to continue building on that with both MailChimp and Mandrill.

In case you haven’t noticed, Mandrill has its own pretty neat API. In fact, we’ve already had a handful of Mandrill integrations come out of the fund, and a few more are in progress. We’re refocusing the fund, so we can continue growing the ecosystem while helping developers and start-ups with paying projects.

Got an idea for integrating on Mandrill’s delivery platform? Apply here for funding.