Salesforce Ventures invests $300 million in Automattic, at a $3 billion valuation • Post Status
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- Given that Salesforce was the lead and only investor here, they now own a significant stake in Automattic -- and it will be interesting to see what kind of confluence that enables between the two companies.
- I asked Matt about that, and he said it was unrelated in terms of financial justification, but they did, "disclose the Tumblr transaction to Salesforce during [their] discussions." How that blend of open source software and business development plays out, in the long run, is certainly of high interest to the open-source community.
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" I am curious to see how Automattic changes their approach to VIP in particular, in light of this. $300 million is a lot of money. Salesforce is joining Insight Venture Partners, Tiger Global, and True Ventures as primary outside investors in Automattic. Given that Salesforce was the lead and only investor here, they now own a significant stake in Automattic -- and it will be interesting to see what kind of confluence that enables between the two companies. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg tells me, "Automattic has been a long-time customer of Salesforce's products, and we think there are lots of opportunities for closer integration." Since Automattic recently acquired Tumblr and brought on a few hundred new employees from it, it's natural to think the new fundraising is related. I asked Matt about that, and he said it was unrelated in terms of financial justification, but they did, "disclose the Tumblr transaction to Salesforce during [their] discussions." Automattic hasn't raised money since 2014, and it seems like this round is similar to prior ones, wherein the money helps spur their growth plans along but that they are operationally profitable -- or close to it. Matt told Techcrunch, "The roadmap is the same. I just think we might be able to do it in five years instead of ten." Matt called the investment proof of Salesforce's own "tremendous vote of confidence for Automattic and for the open web. " Salesforce does have some history of supporting open source projects, although that shouldn't be equated to an investment in Automattic as a company; it is a vote of confidence for companies that rely on open-source platforms as a part of their line of business. Automattic is the single most significant contributor to WordPress and related open-source projects. It also relies on open-source software for its product development -- particularly Jetpack and WooCommerce -- and features like Gutenberg as the core experience for writing and site-building. How that blend of open source software and business development plays out, in the long run, is certainly of high interest to the open-source community. I have long discussed on various platforms how I think there are a handful of companies that are big enough to acquire Automattic someday. I still think Automattic is more likely to go public at some point, but if they are acquired, Salesforce is definitely one of those few with the resources to make it happen, and perhaps the operational congruence as well. Reaching a $3 billion valuation is an amazing feat that Automattic has achieved. Matt has said before that he believes each of their primary lines of business --, WooCommerce, and Jetpack -- can be multi-billion dollar opportunities. I agree with him, particularly for WooCommerce.
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