More than one-fifth of the world’s websites are built on the WordPress content management system, so it’s safe to say that WordPress parent company Automattic knows a thing or two about helping businesses create their website. But an online video posted by Automattic CEO and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg on Wednesday (May 20) reveals that the company has a new market it wants to conquer.
Mullenweg announced that Automattic has acquired eCommerce Software-as-a-Service company WooCommerce, a company that provides a top WordPress plug-in and runs an estimated 650,000 eCommerce sites. Data reveals that more than 7 percent of the world’s online shops are powered by WooCommerce, putting the company in third place behind Magento and Demandware, Mullenweg said.
He did not disclose an acquisition price.
WooCommerce is most popular among small- and medium-sized enterprises around the globe. Its multinational presence is what Automattic said made it an attractive buyout prospect. “WooCommerce is created and supported by 55 people in 16 countries,” Mullenweg said in the video. “Added to Automattic’s 325 people in 27 countries, that’s a combined 370-person company across 42 countries – the sun never sets.”
But it’s the eCommerce angle that really sealed the deal, Mullenweg said. “There’s long been demand for better eCommerce functionality, but it’s been outside the scope of what Automattic could do well,” he explained.
The South African company is also home to the WooThemes WordPress plug-in, which allows WordPress users to conduct eCommerce activities on the platform. Since it launched operations in 2007, WooCommerce expanded its offerings to provide eCommerce capabilities to a slew of companies across the globe that want to launch online operations.
The acquisition follows reports less than a month ago that a competing eCommerce plug-in, The Cart Press, is plagued with several security issues, and that those vulnerabilities were not likely to be fixed.