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Mailchimp for WordPress Plugin for Sale in the Ballpark of €1.6M – WP Tavern

Sarah Gooding
Danny van Kooten, creator of the Mailchimp for WordPress plugin, has indicated that he is interested in selling his plugin for somewhere in the ballpark of €1.6M. It is the most popular Mailchimp solution for WordPress, although it is “unofficial” in that it is not developed by or affiliated with Mailchimp in any way. It has more than 2 million active installs and has been downloaded more than 42 million times.
In a comment on a popular Hacker News post that asks, “What is the best income stream you have created till date?” van Kooten dropped the hint that he is willing to sell the nearly ten-year-old plugin:
It’s definitely not my passion but in 2013 I built a WordPress plugin around the API of a popular newsletter service and it’s been paying my bills ever since.
Still going strong at €36K per month excluding VAT.
There was (and still is) a huge market where non-technical people are looking for a GUI around something a programmer would find very simple (and usually too boring to work on). More so if the tech surrounding it is not particularly sexy, as is the case for WordPress and PHP.
Ps. In case anyone is reading this, I am open to selling. I spent about 4 hours a week on it and the rest is handled by 2 freelance people costing about €1K / month each. Contact me for details if interested and willing to pay in the ballpark of €1.6M.
van Kooten developed Mailchimp for WordPress when he was hospitalized in Vietnam due to acute appendicitis with extra time on his hands during his recovery. He identifies himself as an “accidental entrepreneur” in his Hacker News bio. In 2021, he was featured in Wired for his efforts in reducing his carbon output as a plugin developer. He refactored the plugin to send 20kb less data, and, due to its large user base, he estimates these changes reduced the world’s monthly CO2 output by 59,000 kilograms, which Wired estimated is “roughly the equivalent to flying from New York to Amsterdam and back 85 times.”
Mailchimp for WordPress has commercial upgrades ranging from $59 – $149 per year, and 1% of the plugin’s revenue goes towards environmental projects.
Although Mailchimp recommends WordPress.com’s “Mailchimp block” as the official WordPress integration (also available in Jetpack 7.1+), van Kooten’s plugin is far more flexible. Mailchimp for WordPress integrates with other popular plugins like WooCommerce, Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms 3, BuddyPress, MemberPress, and Events Manager, allowing visitors to subscribe via the checkout or comments form.
Several commenters on van Kooten’s Hacker News response indicated interest in his offer for sale. His comment offers a a rare, transparent look into a popular plugin’s revenue and potential sale price, as most companies that acquire WordPress plugins are almost never willing to reveal how much they paid for them. As Substack moves to add compatibility for Ghost themes and other third-parties, and newsletters become even more critical with people leaving Twitter, it will be interesting to see more movement in the newsletter support space. van Kooten may be setting out at just the right time to find a buyer for Mailchimp for WordPress.
Great job Danny van Kooten. This is definitely a piece of good news for plugin developers.
The reason he’s selling it is because it has outlived its usefulness. Mail chimp now has all the integration tools for WordPress available for download on its website.
I wonder then how revenue is trending. Up, level, down? Any buyer with that kind of capital will know to check this. Subscriptions for a plugin like this probably die hard and being essentially on auto-pilot, it could get the ~4x multiple Danny’s looking for.
If all you need is a ‘dumb’ signup block, then yes. If you need a bit more, then Danny’s plugin is far, far better.
It’s a good plugin. Maybe Danny could comment on why he’s selling – the article doesn’t explain. Around €30k/month profit before taxes for half a day of work a week – why would someone let that go? Lots of plugin developers sell up when they lose motivation or the thing gets too big for them – but they don’t sound like the reasons here.
Pity wordpress.org doesn’t let us see the active install trends any more.
Hey David,
Thank you! I am mostly selling because of a lack of motivation indeed. The time I currently spend on it is the bare minimum to keep it running, but it feels like a disservice to my users to keep doing this for long (and it won’t work indefinitely). Also, I believe the plugin still has potential to be much more, despite its maturity. Would love to see what someone with fresh motivation and more marketing skills could make of it.
I used to be traveling a lot and liked the flexibility that came with a remote plugin business, but now I have children and settled down I honestly just want to work as a programmer on lower level stuff vs. as a web developer on something involving lots of subjective details.
Hope that clarifies a bit.
Danny
We all respect your decision, but have you thought about discussing this with MailChimp team themselves? I mean it’s not just a plug-in, it still have a big potential in the market and people love it more than the ”official” one.
Totally understandable if there is lack of motivation. No need to force push anything. I agree that there is still tons of potential but it need fresh ideas and I believe it will also achieve it. Just needs time and new ideas to make it even more handy. Anyways nice job for what you have done with it.
That plugin is really nice and easy to use in WP. With that income stream, why bother selling? You can build on it and hire people to run it.
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