On Tuesday, Automattic, the mastermind of WordPress.com, announced its acquisition of the renowned WooCommerce, an e-commerce tools company.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that permits its members to convert their self-hosted WordPress website into a bonafide online store and compete with sites like Shopify and BigCommerce. The company was introduced by WooThemes in 2011 to become a major strength in the ecommerce space. The company claims its software powers more than 600,000 sites.
Sources suggest the acquisition is on the team and the company and Automattic will spend more than $30 million in cash and stock to acquire the company of 55 member to increase the headcount of Automattic employees to 370. No comment has been heard from CEO of Automattic Matt Mullenweg on the price but he stated it was the largest acquisition of the company, about six times more than the previous acquisitions.
Automattic raised $160 million in funding last year, getting an entry into the unicorn club with the valuation of $1.6 billion. WordPress now powers 23% of the web and forms the vital infrastructure for publishing. Apart from WordPress, Automattic also runs popular blogging add-ons like Gravatar and JetPack.
With this latest acquisition, Mullenweg said, this is another step and new pathway to help in the betterment of WordPress and target of powering it even more on the web. He said it end goal is to simplify the task of creating one’s own storefront just like how it is now to create own website or blog on WordPress. Some hand-holding during the setup process in WooCommerce could simplify it even further, he said. He said in the blog, “WooCommerce joining Automattic is a big step opening WordPress up to an entirely new audience.”
Like WordPress, the basic version of the software is free of charge, however, WooCommerce charges for the usage of its features like appointment booking, subscription pricing and product recommendation engine. Woo Commerce is a brain child of WooThemes, which is also included in the acquisition.