WordPress currently powers 22% of all websites, up from 18% in 2013, with a CMS market share of 59.8%. The success of WordPress.com, Automattic’s flagship product, is part of the reason that number continues to rise steadily. WordPress.com makes it easy for anyone to create a WordPress site without the burden of setting up hosting to install the software.
This morning Automattic’s founder, Matt Mullenweg, announced that the company is raising $160M in new funding. After taking the helm as CEO earlier this year, Mullenweg said that he set out on a 100-day plan to pursue new funding and find a set of partners who share Automattic’s vision of an open web.
Although Automattic is healthy and growing, Mullenweg cites recent infrastructure and product investments as part of the reason the company will require more cash in order to continue its rapid growth.
Things were and are going well, but there was an opportunity cost to how we were managing the company toward break-even, and we realized we could invest more into WordPress and our products to grow faster.
This is the first time the company has raised money since 2008 when it pulled in $12 million. Automattic is now valued at $1.16 billion for this round of $160 million in new funding. “This is obviously a lot of money, especially considering everything we’ve done so far has been built on only about $12M of outside capital over the past 8 years,” Mullenweg said.
The new funding opens a window of opportunity for Automattic and enables the company to launch new products and hire more employees to support its rapid growth. Mullenweg, who is also the co-founder of the open source WordPress project, closes his announcement post with a reaffirmation of Automattic’s commitment to support the community behind WordPress.
I believe WordPress will win, first and foremost, because of its community — the hundreds of core developers and large commercial companies, the tens of thousands of plugin and theme developers, and the millions of people who build beautiful things with WordPress every day. Automattic is here to support that community and invest the full strength of our resources to making WordPress a better product every day, bringing us closer to our shared mission of democratizing publishing.
With this round of fundraising finishing shortly, it’s clear that Automattic’s investors are ready to support its guiding mission, and they’re betting firmly on the community behind WordPress.