Automattic has acquired Texts, an all-in-one messaging platform, for $50 million. Texts is a newer company founded in 2020 that creates a centralized inbox for all major messaging platforms, including iMessage, WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, Signal, Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack, and Discord.
The proliferation of messaging apps and inboxes has made responding to communication more complicated than it was in previous years. Most companies would prefer to keep users on their own platforms, but Texts offers a new level of interoperability between messaging apps that doesn’t require the use of its own servers. The website states that users’ messages never touch Texts’ servers. They are encrypted and sent directly to the messaging platforms. Texts charges a monthly subscription, instead of making money by selling users’ data. It also offers a number of AI-powered features for chat summaries, drafts, and translation.
Automattic’s Texts acquisition announcement states that the company is moving “into a fourth market that’s integral to the modern web experience: messaging.”
Mullenweg has been eying the messaging market for years and has previously spoken of his fascination with messaging platforms and their relationship with the independent web. In an interview with Om Malik at WordCamp Europe 2017, he mentioned that Automattic was experimenting with Telegram’s group broadcasting feature. More recently, it 2020, Automattic invested $4.6M in New Vector, a company founded by the creators of Matrix, an open standard that powers decentralized conversations with end-to-end encryption.
Texts’ founder, Kishan Bagaria, will take on a new role as Head of Messaging at Automattic and the rest of the 10-person team was retained to continue working on the product.
In response to an inquiry about the status of the iOS and Android mobile apps for Texts, a representative from Automattic said the company is currently testing an iOS beta with a subset of users. Android support is on the roadmap. The representative also confirmed there are no plans to change pricing right now but Automattic is considering the addition of a freemium plan in the future.
Texts will be expanding its coverage to streamline messages across more platforms. Matrix, Tumblr, and many more integrations are on the roadmap, including Snapchat, Google Messages, and Reddit.