Mullenweg Cashes In

Now, it makes sense why WordPress domo Matt Mullenweg didn’t mention – and wasn’t asked about – speculation that Automattic – the company behind – had received a $200-million takeover offer during a keynote last week at BlogWorld.

According to TechCrunch, Automattic’s founders are going to take the money – but perhaps not run – after accepting an investment offer from Polaris, apparently worth as much as $50-million.

A hot online start-up getting a huge injection of cash is hardly news these days but it is a strong signal of WordPress’ growing reputation as the blogging platform even though TypePad continues to be a vibrant player, particularly among corporate users. Some details on Automattic: 18 people, 350 servers, 100 million global uniques in the last month, while WordPress-powered blogs now account for 0.8% of all http headers examined by Google.

To date, Automattic has raised at least $1.1-million from Polaris Venture Partners, Blacksmith Capital, CNET and Radar Partners. The big challenge facing Automattic is figuring out ways to take advantage of WordPress’ success. Right now, it mostly generates revenue from offering an anti-spam service (Akismet) and consulting services. With so much traffic to, you wonder whether the next logical move is accepting advertising.

For more on Automattic, WordPress and Mullenweg, check out Webware and ZDNet, which wrote about WordPress recently being named the best open source content management system for social networking.

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