As my friend Om Malik is reporting — and as founder Matt Mullenweg has confirmed on his blog — the company behind WordPress has landed $29-million in financing, including an investment from none other than the New York Times. This sounds like a great deal for an equally great company, one whose products I not only use for this and other blogs, but have recommended to dozens of friends and coworkers as the easiest way to get online, and many of them now use it.
As Om points out, WordPress is not only a blog platform — it has become one of the default publishing platforms for all kinds of online content, including some small newspapers. As CEO Toni Schneider notes, the hosted version of WordPress at WordPress.com has more than 2 million blogs and is now the number 12 site on the Internet in terms of traffic. And yet Matt Mullenweg, who I met when he came to the very first mesh conference in 2006, is as unassuming as can be — someone who just seems fascinated by what tools like WordPress can produce.
Matt and Toni say that the funds will go to build out the company’s server network and to add new features, including (I’m assuming) the recently announced upgrade of storage space on WordPress to 3 gigabytes. It seems clear to me that WordPress is well on its way to becoming something much more than just another blogging engine. Well done, Matt. TechCrunch reported last fall that Automattic turned down a $200-million acquisition offer, and now I can see why.