Codeable.io, an outsourcing marketplace for WordPress projects, announced a new partnership with Automattic today, along with a share buyback from some of the company’s early investors.
Tomaž Zaman and Per Esbensen bootstrapped the company for the first couple of months after founding it in 2012, prior to receiving a $75K investment from three business angels. After another couple of months, Codeable secured a $400K investment from a Danish fund called “CAPNOVA,” whose shares the company bought back from them last week.
Codeable has been profitable for more than a year with 9%-per-month steady growth on average, according to Zaman. This enabled them to secure a loan from the Danish Growth Fund.
“This loan is meant to buy back shares from CAPNOVA and not invest in the company,” he said. “We did so because we wanted an option to raise a bigger round in the future where valuation will be more in our favor.”
Zaman said that he and co-founder Per Esbensen felt that not buying back the shares (when they always had an option to), would hurt them if they ever sought another round of funding.
“We would simply have to sell too many shares, meaning you can gradually lose the majority of voting rights,” Zaman said. “And we like to be in control of our ship, so to speak.” Buying back CAPNOVA’s shares makes Codeable better positioned for the future.
Codeable.io Announces New Partnership with WooCommerce
WooThemes had also acquired shares in Codeable when it first opened as a company.
“We needed a key partner whose clientele we could tap into, and Woo needed basically what they still need, someone reliable to send people to,” Zaman said. “We had nothing to offer at the time but shares really.”
Zaman also said that the news today “was not about the money at all” but rather the partnership, as Automattic wants to help Codeable grow which will in turn improve the worth of their shares.
“WooCommerce/Automattic wants to have a reliable partner when it comes to people asking who they can hire for help,” Zaman said.
Codeable is now one of WooCommerce’s recommended partners for customers who need additional customization.
“We have a strong base of pre-screened WooCommerce developers in our community, and we go the extra mile to match proper ones to clients,” Zaman said. “WooCommerce work usually pays well because e-commerce owners know what’s at stake.”
Codeable Plans to Expand Partnerships and Continue to Focus on the WordPress Market
The Codeable network currently has 250 pre-screened developers available for outsourcing. Zaman said now that the company is profitable, its founders are “more interested in key partnerships (and thus growth) rather than money.”
The company is averaging $500K in revenue per month with its internal team of 12 people. Zaman said that most of Codeable’s internal developers have evolved into “growth hackers” who write tools for internal use that help them understand the behavior and health of the company.
When asked if Codeable plans to expand into other markets beyond WordPress, Zaman said, “I’m being asked this question a lot, and always the answer is no.
“The reason is that WordPress powers 26% of the web and growing. No other platform even comes close to these numbers. And [the company] being young, we feel we’re only scraping breadcrumbs of the real potential. Truth be told, there’s so much left for us to do in this community, it would only distract us from the thing that matters the most to us: quality.”
Zaman said that Codeable has a couple of major partnerships in the pipeline but cannot disclose anything concrete yet.
“What I can disclose though, is that we just signed a contract with a relatively big development company here in Slovenia, because we decided to outsource the development of the Codeable platform so that we can focus on people, not code,” he said.
“This also means more feature releases – our app still isn’t responsive – more often. So nothing revolutionary, but rather gradual, controlled steps in the evolution of the company.”
I admit I am biased in my comment because I am one of their experts but Codeable is a breath of fresh air. In a world dominated by low cost marketplaces, a place that matches clients that have the budget and want quality work and people that have the skills to deliver that quality is much needed.