E-Stamp Corp. and Intuit, Inc. announced today that they have joined forces to provide Internet postage to the more than two million small businesses that use Intuit’s accounting software.
Under the agreement, E-Stamp will be the only Internet postage service integrated into Intuit’s QuickBooks desktop application. The multiyear deal includes investment from both companies in product development, co-marketing and distribution programs.
Jumpstart For E-Stamp
E-Stamp, which was the first company to begin selling Internet postage commercially, will also be integrated into the next version of Intuit’s accounting and business management software.
The QuickBooks Internet Gateway program is scheduled for release in 2000.
“As a company with a strong focus and commitment to the customer, we strive to work with others that share this philosophy,” said Scott Cook, Intuit executive committee chairman and founder. “E-Stamp’s service saves small businesses time and hassle by providing them with the best solution for purchasing and printing postage.”
The companies will jointly promote their Internet postage service through Intuit’s established retail, direct and online channels. To reach these audiences, the two companies are planning special promotions and offers that are targeted at the QuickBooks customer base.
The E-Stamp service will also be promoted within the QuickBooks software with onscreen messages at the customer’s point-of-need.
“For E-Stamp, collaborating with such a demonstrated leader in the small business market represents tremendous opportunity,” said Robert (Bo) H. Ewald, president and chief executive officer of E-Stamp Corporation. “This relationship is designed to give us unparalleled access to a huge base of small businesses allowing us to reach an important segment of our target market.”
Potentially Lucrative Market
While industry observers feel that this partnership betweenE-Stamp and Intuit could certainly bear fruit, both companies still face stiff competition from Stamps.com and Pitney Bowes.
Additionally, some analysts predict that online postage is potentially such a lucrative market that scores of other companies will soon join the fray.
E-Stamp (Nasdaq:ESTM) received approval from the U.S. Postal Service in August 1999 to market Internet postage software and hardware that lets small businesses and home offices buy postage using a PC via the Internet.
The San Mateo, California-based company has also established strategic relationships with Microsoft, Yahoo!, Compaq, Excite@Home, America Online, Francotyp-Postalia and Avery Dennison.
Based in Mountain View, California, Intuit, Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) is the number one maker of financial software and Web-based services. Intuit develops and sells small business accounting, personal finance and tax preparation software.
In addition, Intuit’s Quicken.com Web site offers financial news, information and tools, including insurance, mortgage, investment and tax preparation services.