(Ping! Zine) – MailChimp today announced the creation of a $1 million fund to support the development of integrations on the MailChimp platform.
The MailChimp Integration Fund is now accepting applications from anyone interested in building an integration on the MailChimp platform. Possible categories for development range from sign-up modules to more complex data sharing. Development can also focus on increasing the utility of an existing integration or plugin.
Interested parties should complete a short form online at http://www.mailchimp.com/about/integration-fund to begin the application process. Funds will be applied on a per-project basis and the amount of funds allocated to any one project will be determined based on the requirements of each specific project.
“We’ve been amazed at the number of third parties building MailChimp integrations on their own, in addition to ones that we’ve commissioned or built ourselves,” said Ben Chestnut, Co-founder and CEO of MailChimp. “The functionality that good integrations add to the MailChimp eco-system is really important. By continuing to decrease barriers to development, we hope to encourage even more people and companies to build compelling integrations with MailChimp.”
More than 80,000 users currently access MailChimp’s application via their API. The software-as-a-service company has existing integrations with many companies like Facebook, Twitter, Picnik, Highrise, PayPal, Google Docs & Contacts, Eventbrite and plugins for WordPress, Expression Engine, Drupal and more. A complete list of current integrations and plugin can be found here.
“A few years ago I had to decide between hiring a sales guy or investing in MailChimp’s API by hiring a programmer,” said Chestnut. “We went with the programmer and focused on making a solid, well documented API that was easy to integrate with. Making something more useful is the best way we’ve found to get and keep customers, so we created this integration fund to encourage entrepreneurs and startups out there to do the same.”
In tandem with announcing the integration fund, MailChimp also released version 1.3 of their API. V1.3 makes accessible all of the data available within their application including geo-targeting and tracking data, making the possibilities for integration exponentially larger.
MailChimp is also a founding member of the Small Business Web, a network of web applications who integrate with one another via open APIs with the goal of making life easier for small businesses.
“Companies like Freshbooks, Batchbook, Zendesk, Formstack, Wufoo, Shoeboxed and more are on the SBweb,” said Chestnut. “Once we started integrating with them, things began to snowball. Now we manage 200 million API calls each month.”