Founded in August 2005, and most notable for WordPress.com , AUTOMATTIC announced that it has raised a sum of $300 million as a part of a Series D round from Salesforce Ventures. As it turns out, the investment has put Automattic’s valuation at $3 billion post-funding.
Salesforce Ventures joins Insight, Tiger Global, and True Ventures as an investor in the company. Automattic had last closed a $160 million Series C round back in 2014.
For Automattic, the funding will help the company grow its WordPress business, says Automattic CEO and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. This ensures the company’s commitment to WordPress and the open web, says President and Chief Product Officer Bret Taylor.
In addition to the opensource WordPress project, the company runs other systems under its hood such as WordPress.com and the Jetpack plugin, WordPress.com VIP and WooCommerce, which it acquired for $30 Million as a part of the WooThemes deal. The Tech Portal has been a regular user of WordPress and undoubtedly its the best content-management system on the planet.
“I think there’s potential to get to a similar market share as Android, which I believe now has 85% of all handsets. When you think about it, open source has a virtuous cycle of adoption, people building on the platform and more adoption,” Automattic founder and CEO Matt Mullenweg remarked.
Thanks to Automattic, there are now 34% of the world’s top 10 million websites running on WordPress. Back in 2014, 22% of the world’s top 10 million websites used WordPress. And the number has been eventually increasing ever since.
Matt loves Tumblr, in recent interviews he has said, “I’ve long been a fan of Tumblr. I’ve been using it pretty much since it started. There have been some features on WordPress certainly inspired by Tumblr over the years, and I was bummed when it sold to Yahoo”. To Verizon’s credit, it chose to sell Tumblr to Automattic, the publishing platform that runs some 34 percent of the world’s websites. Once Automattic seals the deal with Tumblr, it is going to have around 1200 employees.
Automattic has been doing a great job, managing content for around 34% of the world websites, including some leading news services globally. The company that once started as an open source blogging platform, has evolved into a highly customisable content management system.
With social media platforms on the rise, the company wants to empower content creators with better tools to showcase their talents. Instead of optimising its services the company plans on improving their tools. A content creator is in control of his own destiny. Mullenweg mentioned, “The problem we’re tying to solve is likely multigenerational. It can take the rest of our lives and we need to pass it on to the generation that comes after to continue to work on it. Hopefully for the rest of humanity because I can’t imagine a time when humanity cannot benefit from an open, free, connected web”.
Also we can expect some kind of tie-ups, or partnerships between Salesforce Venture and Automattic in the upcoming future. Although this isn’t confirmed yet, but going by the kind of investor that Salesforce is, it is safe to comment on this matter.
“We’ve been a long time customer of Salesforce, we’re big fan of the platform. And definitely, you could imagine, given a lot of thoughts, how WordPress could complement their products,” Mullenweg added.
With new capital at its disposal, a plethora of opportunities for Automattic lay wide open. However, the company plans to stick to their current product lineup instead of beating around the bush about their upcoming services. “Slow and Steady” is what the company believes in. As Mullenweg has stated, “The roadmap is the same. I just think we might be able to do it in five years instead of ten”.