Atlanta Design Startup Bought by Mailchimp

Mailchimp, the Atlanta, Georgia based marketing platform for small business, purchased graphic design startup Sawa.

It’s the second acquisition for Mailchimp, itself a matured startup that has seen rapid growth in the last few years thanks to growing demand for its marketing tools. It’s last acquisition before Sawa was Tinyletter in 2011.

“It’s so fortunate that Sawa and Mailchimp met in this way because we hit it off instantly from both a product and culture perspective,” said Sawa’s founder and sole employee Francis Tao, to Hypepotamus writer Holly Beilin in an interview. “Sawa’s automated design technology perfectly aligns with Mailchimp’s priority to empower small businesses to punch above their weight with world-class marketing.”

Sawa was founded by Tao in 2017 with funding from himself and local investors. Tao will now join Mailchimp as senior project manager, with the Sawa technology integrated into his new employer.

The Sawa acquisition is a victory for Techstars Atlanta, which helped nurture the startup since its inception, as it does with many of the tech startups growing from the program like Bark, Zoonko, Sequr and 2ULaundry. Sawa is the first startup to be acquired from the Atlanta division of Techstars.

“We’re incredibly proud of Francis and his team in realizing this next step in Sawa’s journey and so excited to see the impact our Techstars Atlanta Accelerator, in partnership with Cox Enterprise is having on entrepreneurs and companies in Atlanta,” said Techstars Atlanta SVP of accelerators Daniel Feld, in a statement.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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