Automattic has acquired Prospress and its flagship WooCommerce Subscriptions product, along with the company’s entire suite of e-commerce plugins and automation tools. Prospress’ 20 employees will be joining Automattic to continue developing and supporting their products.
There are no immediate changes planned for current WooCommerce Subscriptions customers. Automattic will begin working on a roadmap for the product after integrating the Prospress team into the company.
In the announcement Q&A, Prospress founder Brent Shepherd said he is excited to see how Subscriptions will integrate with Automattic’s existing products and offered a glimpse at what they may be working on in the near future:
In more specific terms, that could mean looking at closer relationships with how payments are handled, or integrations with other platforms such as WordPress.com. There are also a couple of things to solve both in WooCommerce and subscriptions to help them scale better. Interestingly, these challenges are almost identical for the two codebases. By working more closely to solve them than we ever could apart, I hope we can do a better job of implementing solutions and in a shorter time frame.
WooCommerce Subscriptions can already be purchased a la carte and used on WordPress.com stores, so nothing will change in this department. I asked Paul Maiorana, head of partnerships for WooCommerce, if there are any plans to integrate Subscription functionality with Jetpack sites, as the plugin’s team is currently pursuing a Membership feature that is essentially recurring payments.
“We’re excited to learn from the Prospress team as they’re experts in this space, and could see Memberships potentially leveraging some of the Subscriptions code to avoid duplicating efforts — but we have no plans to integrate the products,” Maiorana said.
The Prospress acquisition also includes AutomateWoo, a marketing automation tool, and Robot Ninja, which offers automated checkout testing for WooCommerce stores. Prospress acquired AutomateWoo in June 2018 as a complementary product to Subscriptions. There are no immediate changes planned for these products that would affect customers.
Prospress has been deeply invested in the WooCoommerce open source project for many years. WooCommerce has 834 contributors and Shepherd is currently among the top 10. His company committed to the five for the future initiative last year by sponsoring one of its employees to contribute full time to WooCommerce core. For the past five years Shepherd has also co-organized the WooCommerce San Francisco meet-up.
Cornering the market on Subscriptions and being able to ensure a tight integration for customers gives WooCommerce a more competitive edge in the broader e-commerce space. Prospress’ smaller products are also strategic additions to WooCommerce’s offerings. If Automattic can integrate the marketing automation and automated checkout testing tools in one hosted package, these tools have the potential to greatly increase customer’s success and confidence in their WooCommerce powered stores.