Maker of WordPress raises $160m because they can

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Photo illustration: Xeni Jardin

Automattic, the company that makes WordPress, announced today that they have raised $160 million– more than ten times their total investment in their decade-old company. This is their first capital injection in six years, somewhat of a surprise for a company that only recently stated it was healthy and making profit. The purpose of raising this money is to accelerate growth, a pretty common reason to pile money on yourself.

Two things are interesting about this: First, that Automattic can raise this kind of money at this stage in the game, and second that they might actually have to. With companies like Tumblr and Facebook focused on blogging-related activities and supplied with nearly endless war chests, it's nice to see that open-source WordPress can still have a fighting chance. How they'll manage that absurd amount of money has yet to be seen.

New Funding for Automattic on Matt Mullenweg's blog

Notable Replies

  1. "it's nice to see that open-source WordPress can still have a fighting chance"

    Um, WP powers over 22.0% of the top 10 million sites on the web, including BoingBoing. It is probably the most widely used CMS currently available and for good reason - it rocks!

    That's a little more than a "fighting chance".

  2. If they would like help in managing that $160 million, I would make myself available.

  3. How many hundreds of millions of gallons of urine per day will this monster produce?

  4. I'm not so sure about the "it rocks" sentiment. It's simple and easy to use by the end user, but try being a developer with WordPress. We do it, it works, but that's about as far as I'd say it goes. It has an easy deployment story (thanks to PHP) but is in no way 'current' in how PHP has evolved (composer etc.).

  5. "It's simple and easy to use by the end user, but try being a developer with WordPress"

    We're going to have to disagree on this point. I have been developing on WP for a number of years and continue to prefer it as a platform. Many of the projects were applications outside of the the blogging realm, including: inventory management, shopping carts, geolocation mapping, and emergency alert systems.

    Though, as you noted, it's best feature is how easy it is to use for the client. Overhead for training and support has always been less than with other CMS options.

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