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One of the world’s most popular website theme builders WooThemes and popular ecommerce builder WooCommerce have just been acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com for a reported US$30-million.
Founded in Cape Town, South Africa in 2008 by Adriaan Pienaar, Magnus Jepson, and Mark Forrester, WooThemes has managed to create a strong global brand with a current team of 55 working in 20 different countries. WooThemes has not only managed to become one of the world’s leading WordPress theme builders, it’s also responsible for WooCommerce — an online shopping plugin that’s seen over 7.5 million downloads and a over million active installs, becoming one of the biggest online shop builders in the world.
Automattic is the company behind WordPress which powers about 23% of the web today. Last year, the US-based company raised US$160-million boosting up its valuation to US$1.16-billion.
“In the past few years, WooCommerce really distinguished itself in its field,” writes Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress and Automattic. “Just like WordPress as a whole, it developed a robust community around its software, and its products meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.”
Mullenweg notes that WooCommerce joining Automattic is a big step opening WordPress up to an entirely new audience and move to its goal of powering 51%. “I can’t wait to see how much more we can build together,” he says.
“We bring real business value to the WordPress platform and we’ve proven an avenue of significant customers and revenues,” Forrester tells us in an email. “Automattic offer many subscriptions services, have a massive team of engineers, as well as own WordPress.com. That’s a heap more customers to reach, and the tools and talent to simplify and extend ecommerce.”
According to Re/code’s sources, Automattic will spend more than US$30-million in cash and stock to buy the company. Forrester told Ventureburn that while it’s a 100% acquisition the details of the deal can’t be disclosed.
As pointed out by WooThemes, the “Woo ninjas” or its team of 55 is not going anywhere. “They’ll continue working all around the world, with exciting opportunities for learning and growth through the cross-pollination of Automattic’s and our engineering, support and marketing teams.”
When asked about WooThemes’ investments, Forrester tells us that it’s business per usual for the foreseeable future. “Us joining Automattic provides even more opportunities for companies like Graphflow. We look forward to exploring them and innovating together.”
Update: The article has been updated to include comments from WooThemes co-founder Mark Forrester