And they said the bubble had burst. Nice! There's still hope for my search for $65m in VC funding for my interactive wacky wailing inflatable arm-flailing tubemen social networking site.
I know that $30m only equates to about £4.69 in pounds sterling, but it's still an incredible amount for what's nothing more than a (very popular, and quite, quite clever) blogging platform. As Matt (one of the founders of WordPress) says on his blog,
Fast forward to 2007: many of the seeds planted started to really bloom. On WordPress.com 1.8 million new users joined, they created 25 million posts, we served 3.2 billion dynamic pageviews, and grew to reach over 100 million unique users worldwide. Akismet blocked billions of spams from reaching blogs. Nearly every major media organization, from the NY Times, WSJ, CNN, Fox, Time, People, and more, have embraced WordPress. Finally the approach of serious acquisition or majority-stake investments brought up the biggest question we’d faced so far: should we sell, or build out Automattic to be an independent company for many years to come.
That decision actually wasn’t hard. I couldn’t stop thinking about the opportunities and it became clear that the road ahead was much longer than the road behind us.
That brings us to today. The New York Times, the flagship of media, is joining our existing investors Polaris, True, and Radar in expanding their minority stake in the company. Automattic is now positioned to execute on our vision of a better web not just in blogging, but expanding our investment in anti-spam, identity, wikis, forums, and more — small, open source pieces, loosely joined with the same approach and philosophy that has brought us this far.