78 Comments

  1. Pete

    This is great news.

    Report

    • Isaiah Bollinger

      I hope that Automatic improves WooCommerce. We provide Magento and WordPress services as an agency and Magento is still far ahead of WordPress in terms of powering major eCommerce websites but it would be nice to see the gap close a little bit.

      Report

  2. Bradley Kirby (@Bradley_Kirby)

    $30M! Just goes to show what can be accomplished when you hire away the developers of a competing project and rebrand their code as your own.

    Report

  3. nuwanda

    Has this been on the radar?

    $30m is a nice chunk of change but sounds lowish.

    Report

  4. BobWP

    This is great news and thanks for the post.. sure it will answer some questions already bubbling within the community ;)

    Having worked closely with Woo last few years and getting to know the entire team, it obviously is going to be a great asset to Automattic. And likewise, I’m sure :)

    Excited to see what the future holds around all of this.

    Report

  5. Nathan P.

    WooCommerce never worked well for me or my company, so I switched to Easy Digital Downloads and found an easier time implementing a store into my site.

    Report

  6. Frankie Jarrett

    Crazy news! $30 million seems like a low valuation to me for something that powers 1/3 of all stores on the Internet. An assumption of 10x revenue would mean Woo only brought in a mere $3m year…

    Report

    • Bradley Kirby (@Bradley_Kirby)

      Remember this is open-source land, though. The value of open-source code for acquisition purposes is zero. Worse, because of the GPL the value of all the future code they produce is also worth zero (it obviously *provides* value, but it’s still worthless to an acquirer) Only the trademark and active customer accounts give the company value.

      In valuing the company Automattic had to answer the question: “How much is woocommerce worth to us that is more than we would gain by simply forking and rebranding the project ourselves?”

      Report

  7. Brian

    Wow, incredible who would have thought. I am excited to see what changes are to come to WooCommerce. Congrats to both parties, amazing plugin and story.

    Report

    • Rick

      @joeseph

      While the Zen / OSCommerce deal is like Jurassic time in web terms what you say is true. Marketing. Public perception is a core aspect thereof though there are considerably more.

      Matt & crew appear to be well sighted into what the not so far future will be bringing forth.

      WordPress is one of perhaps 15 or 20 Open Source without pretenses projects out there that stands a good chance at not only surviving what is coming but also thriving within that new ecosystem on the horizon of the Internet.

      The acquisition was a VERY smart move. As I’ve noted before, I am not sanguine towards CMS integration with eCommerce. Not principally mind you but due to implementations. Principally it makes of course TONS of sense. Rich content alongside marketable hard goods or soft goods is an obvious no brainer, Amazon is living proof. What sets Woo Commerce ahead of the usage curve in eCommerce is WordPress. The ability to design contextual rich content around the merchant brand and hard/soft goods.

      Implementation wise traditionally in CMS eCommerce the data such as customer orders, addressing etc. sits within the same database as the CMS content. Thus a security hole in any plugin may result in access to what is construed private information. I am sure Automattic will move towards getting that data secured and ciphered. This is going to become a legislative matter (as well as other matters such as Brand authorizations etc) in scant time. In other words, eCommerce standards are going to change and the changes “of course” favor the big guys.

      eBays spinning off of PayPal is not simply a eBay business decision. Its just as much if not more so a decision based on whats coming down the pike.

      There are many reasons behind it, some sorta “eh? Really?” and many really valid albeit perhaps sad. Counterfeits for example, certainly a valid reason for Brands to enforce their rights. Authorized resellers / distributorships is a rather sad tale. But it also ranges from counterfeits and more. The “more” being things such as eBay. For years they have tried reign in issues, many many issues that just continue to come forth. Now, its slated to change. Thats what Omni Channel is all about. Wasnt like eBay wanted spend billions and billions and billions of dollars on it. Its their future. PayPal doesnt have a spot in that so business wise, smart to spin it off. But there is more in as far as these brand and other matters manufacturers are hitting hard upon both in their own capabilities but towards legislators as well.

      Additionally what coming forth can be of huge grace to some entities. Walmart for example in their online capabilities.

      If Automattic does this all right, I could show Automattic how to make more revenues than WordPress itself ever generate. Literally nickles .vs. thousand dollar bills.

      Not done right, welp, Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart (thats right, Alibaba) will cream all players. Alibaba did not buy Auctiva and Volusion to have a toy and they according to analysts are slated to be in the 400+ billion dollar revenue zone by years end last I’d read. Thats #2 behind Walmart globally. All sorta “planned” unfolding pretend drama awaits the future by powers that be.

      I’d love speak with Matt about it.

      The internationalization of plugins, templates etc, also, excellent move. Its VERY important for this ecosystem of WP to not sit back and let time pass towards significant forward movements.

      The Internet ecosystem is facing alot of change in the not so distant future. Its extremely important for a leadership role that WordPress enjoys CLEARLY more so through Automattic than external influences to solidify or perhaps a better term entrench as more than anyone here probably would realize may depend upon it.

      Kudos Matt & company. VERY well directed moves.

      I have several (many several in fact) other shall we call them “issues” or “opportunities” (perhaps both be better) that I as a puny tot could never pursue but for Automattic be HUGE in solidification and entrenchment that I can assure you “the big boys” have not thought of. At least, not yet.

      Report

  8. Paul

    I didn’t see this coming! I just hope that WooCommerce doesn’t become part of Jetpack.

    Report

  9. Dave Chu

    Very interesting! I’ve always had mixed feelings about this plugin. It’s very good in many ways.

    I have a sort of sideline business filling in its gaps. :) It does have a decent number of hooks, pretty fair documentation, and my interactions with the staff have been pleasant. I’m not a client of theirs per se, but have learned its innards when clients asked for help with it.

    Sensei could use some improvements – it’s lagging behind the mothership, and most inquiries I get have to do with that.

    All their products could use more hooks! Telling clients to do “display: none” on parts of it is just too cheesy. :)

    I’ll be very interested to hear what happens now that they’ve been subsumed. Most corporate takeovers spin themselves as “synergy”, economies of scale, the usual crap, when it’s really just a money grab or elimination of competition. Fortunately, I think that Automattic will be a more constructive overlord than that.

    Report

  10. Troy Dean

    Does this mean all WooCommerce extensions will now be free given that Matt believes that code should be free and doesn’t like premium plugins? ;)

    Report

    • Marcelo

      Good one. Hopefully, yes. But,… there are several third parties making more than a penny or two on that addons, and what is currently not free, would be tricky to liberate as 100% free. Think what will have to say those users with licenses purchased within the last year? Happy to be your last payment? I’d like to hear more opinions by end customers, preferably those with licenses for multiple sites.

      Report

    • Jeff Chandler

      The rumor that he doesn’t like commercial themes and especially plugins is unfounded. He simply doesn’t want plugins sold on WordPress.org. He does have philosophical differences between the two, but the idea he doesn’t like them is not part of the equation.

      Report

      • Andreas Nurbo

        Well in the past that has been the common impression and still is. He has nothing against SaaS solutions but plugin themselves that are closed and commercial have always seemed to annoy him. Its one of those perplexing GPL things. We love the GPL so much that we prefer SaaS so we dont have to give our code away =).

        Report

  11. Adrian Anderson

    I’m going to guess this is more for wordpress.com monetisation than wordpress.org. Which leaves me a little unsettled.

    Report

    • buzztone

      I am totally comfortable with Automattic making money by offering WooCommerce on wordpress.com. It could benefit a huge number of novice users who need some Ecommerce functionality but are not yet ready to run a wordpress.org install.

      Report

  12. Michael

    A fantastic acquisition and opportunity for automattic. This will be interesting to watch.

    Report

  13. David

    One of WordPress’s open areas has been monetization (with WordPress.com generating the vast bulk of Automattic’s coffers). Now they can sell Woo Themes, offer a diluted version through WordPress.com, sell premium Woo themes and find other ways to add an additional stream of revenue to Automattic that wasn’t there before. I’m sure the pros and cons of the acquisition were well thought out in advance of the offering and you’ll see a very gradual roll out of Woo branded offerings and expansion into the WordPress/Automattic family with integration into JetPack for Woo-lite and then levels of premium services, etcetera

    Report

  14. Chris Howard

    What does this mean for all the other ecommerce plugins? It’s pretty much going to wipe them out. It’s not a good business for them to be in anymore. I know this is life, especially in the dog eat dog world of business, but be nice if Automattic was bit more altruistic. I wonder what 2003 Matt Mullenweg would think.

    Report

    • Pippin Williamson

      I run one of the other e-Commerce plugins and am not concerned. Will it changes things? Absolutely. Will it kill us all off? Absolutely not.

      Part of running a successful business is adapting to changes. If this requires that we make some changes to our business, that’s exactly what we will do.

      Report

    • Justin Sainton

      I’d echo what Pippin is saying, for WP eCommerce.

      We are now the largest independent eCommerce platform for WordPress. Times are changing, that’s for sure, but I firmly believe that this is an opportunity for all of us to continue to innovate.

      A big fish just got bigger – but the ocean we’re in is vast – more so that most of us can imagine.

      Report

    • Carl Hancock

      Jetpack has forms. Did that wipe out Gravity Forms? There’s also Ninja Forms, Formidable, etc.

      This won’t wipe out the competition. If competition were to disappear i’d fear for the health of WordPress as a platform and ecosystem. Competition is healthy.

      Report

    • Chris Lema

      I can understand why someone might think that the acquisition spells trouble for all of the competitors of WooCommerce. The logic goes – growing company now has tons of resources at its back, everyone else will be demolished. While I get the logic, my experience has often been the opposite (though I’m not trying to curse the acquisition at all).

      Over the last twenty years, most of the acquisitions of software companies I’ve seen has resulted not in massive growth, but instead in slow growth or complete languishment. This is often the case because cultures have to be merged. Teams have to be assigned tasks (and it’s not always tasks focused on the newly acquired software). Roadmaps and product direction gets mired in meetings and debate and politics. And more.

      Now, I think Automatic is better than all that. I think they can skip over much of that. But they have their own track record of buying companies that don’t turn into category killers (i.e. Intense Debate). Pretty sure Disqus didn’t die because of that purchase.

      Obviously the acquisition was thought thru by some very smart people and they have some plans. I can also assure you that hope and excitement are at their pinnacle because the real work starts today and tomorrow and suddenly everyone’s hopes will be brought back to the reality of 1000 little issues to work thru.

      So while we should all hope for the best and wish them well, and watch as they do amazing things, I wouldn’t recommend that companies close up and cede ground to this recent news. It will make things different but it doesn’t mean it will remove the opportunities that abound in eCommerce right now.

      Report

      • George Stephanis

        Even beyond that, eCommerce in the WordPress space has always been tremendously varied.

        WooCommerce works superbly well for many use cases — but if you’re just starting out, and you’re only ever going to offer downloaded ebooks or music or something, nine times out of ten I’ll recommend Easy Digital Downloads instead of WooCommerce.

        If you’re a blogger than just wants to sell a couple odd items in your normal blog posts? Sure, give Cart66 a look instead.

        There are many different eCommerce solutions for WordPress, and they all serve a different group far better than the others, and I don’t think WooCommerce getting the backing of Automattic will result in EDD or Cart66 or others being any less useful for their target markets.

        Report

      • Rick

        I think its a good thing. Automattic is probably more likely to work and secure the codebase towards full standards as those standards are what are going to end up legislated.

        Report

    • Chris Howard

      Thanks Pippin, Carl and Chris for chiming in. It’s good to hear your voices on this.

      I recently signed up with EDD and aren’t too worried about it because it has it’s own niche (highlighted by the fact when I enter “ecommerce” as a keyword in the plugins search, EDD doesn’t show on the first 4 pages of results – then i gave up)

      But as a developer, I’ll be doubling my efforts on WC compatibility for my own plugin thus becoming free advertising for WC at the expense of other players. I don’t think I’ll be alone.

      And I know when I go to “Add plugins” Woo Commerce will now appear alongside Akismet, JetPack, and Super Cache on that first screen.

      Unless you were really well established, like EDD, I think it’s going to become a bigger battle than ever.

      (Carl – bit cheeky. Comparing JetPack forms to Gravity is like comparing a chiselled stone tablet to an iPad!)

      Report

  15. Jeffrey

    Novice users should not use WooCommerce, instead they should use third-party e-commerce platform such as Shopify, Magento to let them handle all the hassle. WooCommerce is easy to set up, but not the best solution for serious e-commerce, at least at this moment.

    Report

    • Scott Hartley

      To be fair Jeffrey could apply that to the WordPress core as well. WordPress and Woocommerce still seem to be focused on how to say… The little guy.

      Woocommerce makes it easy to create an online store, but it makes it incredibly difficult to make one that is scalable.

      WordPress makes it easy to create a website, but it makes it hard to expand and to become a larger publisher.

      What I am hoping to see is in one of these major releases we see a focus on large scaled websites not just the simple blogs. In fact I can’t recall the last time Multisite got some love in these updates and it really needs it.

      Report

    • Danny Santoro

      I’ll wholeheartedly disagree on the “serious e-commerce” bit. We’ve got users with giant stores of 20k+ SKUs and some with just a handful – it really all depends on how well you manage it and how well you’re ready to scale. You’re only limited by the time you can invest.

      Report

  16. Frankie Jarrett

    I’m interested to learn about how WooCommerce will be rolled into WordPress.com since it currently requires 8 custom database tables, and AFAIK the WP.com platform is one giant multisite installation and custom tables are not possible.

    Report

  17. Pyrus

    I suppose I’m probably the only one not happy about this acquisition.
    Given how much Automattic’s products eat away your visitors’ privacy (as well as your own), It’s kinda sad to see another good product going into “this” direction.

    Oh well, there are always alternatives I guess…

    Report

  18. Illya King

    I really hope WooCommerce doesn’t merge with Jetpack. I’m on a shared server and the hosting company blocks Jetpack. I also lost access to my WP.com account when I changed my phone.

    I am worried that I won’t be able to use WordPress anymore the more plugins Automattic gathers.

    Report

  19. Rick

    How interested is Automattic in the themes side of things? In Matt’s posts, he only mentions WooCommerce and e-commerce, but over on the WooThemes site, it’s says the Automattic bought WooThemes, not just WooCommerce.

    Report

    • Trent Lapinski (@trentlapinski)

      My guess would be low.

      Automattic had an opportunity to pick up CyberChimps and passed. I don’t think they place much value on themes.

      They were after WooCommerce with this purchase, and if you watch Matt’s video he directly only mentions WooCommerce.

      Report

  20. Tony

    Curious what would happen with the growth of “WooCommerce” based on Google Trends after this acquisition? :)

    https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=woocommerce

    In fact, WooCommerce grew up rapidly before this “big news”. I bet it’d grow even faster…

    Report

  21. Casey Friday

    I’ve been using WooCommerce to set my clients up with e-commerce for almost four years now, and I’m not quite sure what to make of this acquisition. I think WordPress and WooCommerce are both fantastic products with fantastic teams behind them, so for now I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, and I’ll wait to freak out until it looks like quality is dropping in either one (which I honestly don’t expect will happen).

    Cheers to both parties, and I hope it’s a successful partnership.

    Report

  22. WordPress Designer

    Pippin: based on your over-the-top coding & customer service, you have a golden opportunity to install & configure your plugins in your customers sites. People would pay you to not have to do it themselves.

    Report

  23. Tom Ford

    Supporter…think it’s awesome, time to chop and screw (AND DOC) the hooooks!

    Report

  24. Ray

    I’ve only just seen this (a bit late to the party). I think this is a great move for Automatic. I can completely see the sense in it, especially as WooCommerce is starting to dominate the eCommerce space.

    From a WordPress users perspective this can only mean good things to come as tighter integration between them is bound to result. Hopefully, this will mean both WordPress and WooCommerce improving terms of capabilities and efficiency.

    From a designer / developer perspective, I’m sure more hooks will become available and greater customisation capabilities will start to appear in plugins and themes.

    All-in-all most sides of the WordPress community should experience some positives from this.

    Report

  25. Brad Dalton

    I think the themes need some different styling. They just seem to have a similar look and style to me.

    Report

  26. Rick

    Theme’s in eCommerce should always be consistent, people are there to shop. What matters most is having great backend support abilities, security that can be promoted in as far as marketing, obviously, good stuff and good prices and rich forms of support content for the products.

    When Amazon rolls out its next incarnation of eCommerce Amazon Web Stores integrated with the marketplace (and then some++) you will see exactly what I mean. RIght now they are integrating all Amazon International commerce sites into a unified vendor experience.

    Its one of the “oopsies” when operations try measure how many installs of this or that and their percentile of market. Those numbers are completely 110% way way off. Amazon has more merchants on their store platform than all others combined. Amazon has more vendors in ts marketplace than anyone really realizes, millions and not just 2 million. Some say upwards of 70 million, I’d estimate more like 15-25 million (globally).

    My guess is Amazon will by this time next year be offering webstores to any marketplace vendors as part of their pro seller subscriptions for a very minimal fee. They will then roll out their online publishing platform and all stores using the Amazon Payments, FBA options and A-Z claims system. Everyone else can go home at that point.

    Its why I said, “Woo w/ Automattic has a tremendous opportunity” here, but, time is critical and everything has to be done right, first time, its a very sizeable bit of work, can have zero flaws, properly staged on and on. $30 million turn into 300 Billion and it cant fail. That is to say, not the software, the opportunity… it cant fail if done right and its not “gee lets make webstores”. Uh uh.

    Its also not “Gee, lets have designers freelancing themes and plugins” for Woo. Nope, that’d need end. Might need “aquire” a few more operations as well.

    Time critical because as these sized entities make their moves the head of steam they get from existing merchants and the enormous global market exposure they enjoy will make it all completely moot. Its akin with “The Tucker” automobile sorta. It’ll be trying compete with Goliath’s but atop that cards stacked in favor of the Goliath’s.

    Work literally need begin yesterday or preferably turn on the time machine and turn the clock back 18 months.

    Report

  27. OG Sean

    We recently chose to do a plugin for Woo Commerce over some other major platforms, and this is great news for that decision. This really legitimizes Woo as THE go-to plugin for ecommerce with WP now. Seeing how WP powers an estimated >20% of the internet, this plugin is about to explode in the ecommerce scene. Magento should be very scared of this announcement for self hosted, and same goes for Shopify when Automatic undoubtedly opens Woo up to the WP.com hosted platform, too, if they haven’t already.

    Report

  28. Acacia C.

    I definitely prefer Woocommerce to some of the other e-commerce platforms I have tried. I think it is awesome that it will be an integrated feature of WP in the near future.

    I have to wonder as other posters have…if Automattic acquired Woothemes as well, can we hope that the visual style of the core themes packaged with WordPress will evolve as well? I’d like to see the default theme packaged with demo content as well, more like a high quality ThemeForest theme or Squarespace. As a developer, I’ve stood by WordPress but I worry that more stylish platforms (Squarespace, etc.) will start to pull people away from the open source community that makes WordPress so awesome.

    Report

  29. Ed

    Makes me wonder if Matt made sure some of the funds got to the JigoShop team, as the WooCommerce code was stolen, sorry… forked, off of their code?

    Also makes me wonder if Matt’s staunch stance on GPL would change if someone ever forked WordPress and made it more successful than WordPress is and Matt’s money all went away?

    Of course, I don’t foresee either of these happening… but it does make one think a bit.

    Report

    • Chris Howard

      Aye. JigoShop incident made you wonder if GPL stands for Go Pinch (someone else’s) Labors.

      Report

    • Brad Dalton

      Yes but i think GPL is the reason WordPress is popular which supports the livelihoods of the people who have built their business around WordPress so i support him fighting for GPL.

      Just a shame things turn into a little war but i guess there’s no nice way to fight.

      Why don’t Jigoshop fork Woo and do something different with it?

      Report

  30. Dave

    It seems like this acquisition means that the WooCommerce extensions marketplace is no longer open to new developers. I have an awesome plugin I want to sell on their marketplace but it seems to be impossible to figure out a way to sign the contract and send them the plugin code.

    Report

  31. Dave

    Does anyone know how to submit plugins to the WooThemes marketplace?

    Report

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: