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Automattic for the Money ($29.5M to be Exact)

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Now, it all makes sense.

Now, I understand why Automattic came out of nowhere earlier this week with an ultra-aggressive strategic move to increase bandwidth for WordPress.com users to 3GB – a move that will likely force rival TypePad to follow suit.

According to GigaOm, Automattic and blog/boy wonder Matt Mullenweg has raised $29.5-million from a group of investors that includes The New York Times.

I’m not sure how I feel about the NYT becoming an investor in Automattic/Wordpress. On one hand, it seems strange to have a traditional media organization have a stake in WordPress. I mean, come on, this is WordPress – the open-source project that we all know and love, right!

On the other hand, it is the NYT – one of the best media organizations in the world and an enthusiastic WordPress user. (About.com guides are published using WordPress, and the NYT has more 50 WordPress-powered blogs.)

So, what does WordPress do with all that dough other than buying a few more servers and upgrading its Akismet anti-spam service?

Does this signal a major change in how Automattic deals with WordPress and the fee-based services it offers. My sense is we can expect the “ah shucks, we’re WordPress” approach to change as Automattic becomes a serious business looking for serious revenue.

And maybe it’s time for Automattic to be looking at some serious acquisitions. A solid publishing tool would be a start. Who knows, maybe Automattic will get into the online advertising business given it generates so much traffic and has such a strong brand. GigaOm suggests that Automattic could also launch a social networking business. With $29.5-million in the bank, the company has the ability to do some interesting deals.

All in all, there are interesting times ahead for Automattic and WordPress. If I were TypePad (and maybe Blogger), I’d be very worried.

For more, check out Mullenweg’s blog.

Update: The financing values Automattic at $150-million to $200-million. Some of the money will be used to cash out some of the company’s investors – CNet being one of them.

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  • http://lloydbudd.com/ Lloyd Budd

    I searched your site to see if I could find previous posts on what you would consider a serious publishing tool and how it would fit into our offerings, but wasn’t successful. What do you mean by a serious publishing tool? Thank you.

  • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

    What I meant was something like Ecto – a publishing tool with that’s a lot more user-friendly and feature-rich than WordPress’ publishing tool.

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    Thanks for mentioning Ecto… I have been looking for something like that for a while, its far better than wordpress in my opinion. I know you pay for it but its far better if you are taking online publishing seriously.

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    of blogging platform WordPress (which BloggerTalks incidentally uses) by Matt Mullenweg, have raised another $29.5m in funding, with The New York Times opening its wallet. Matt himself have a post up,

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    I searched your site to see if I could find previous posts on what you would consider a serious publishing tool and how it would fit into our offerings, but wasn’t successful. What do you mean by a serious publishing tool? Thank you.

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    What I meant was something like Ecto – a publishing tool with that's a lot more user-friendly and feature-rich than WordPress' publishing tool.

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    Thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.

  • http://www.mawerickmoneymaker.com/maverick-money-makers-club Mack

    Well, if NYT can have a piece of WordPress it will surely move people to Joomla, which I believe is open source also.

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