Startups Weekly: Upfront Ventures bets on a bus service

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy news pertaining to startups and venture capital. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I profiled an e-commerce startup Part & Parcel. Before that, I wrote about Stripe’s grand plans. Remember, you can […]

How Automattic wants to build the operating system of the web

A conversation with Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg about raising $300 million and the open web Romain Dillet @romaindillet / 8 hours Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Longreads, Simplenote and soon Tumblr, is now worth $3 billion. But its founder and CEO Matt Mullenweg has a bigger goal. He wants to make the web better, […]

Daily Crunch: Automattic raises $300M

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Automattic raises $300 million at $3 billion valuation from Salesforce Ventures Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce and soon Tumblr, has […]

Tumblr’s next step forward with Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg

After months of rumors, Verizon finally sold off Tumblr for a reported $3 million — a fraction of what Yahoo paid for the once mighty blogging service back in 2013. The media conglomerate (which also owns TechCrunch) was clearly never quite sure what to do with the property after gobbling it up as part of […]

Automattic’s bargain-bin Tumblr deal plugs right into the WordPress business model

Tumblr has been a millstone around the neck of its owners, first Yahoo and later Oath and Verizon Media, pretty much since it was acquired in 2013. They never found an answer to the question that new owner Automattic is presumably about to take a crack at: how to make this unruly erstwhile porn factory […]

Automattic acquires subscription payment company Prospress

Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Longreads, Simplenote and a bunch of other cool things, is acquiring a small startup called Prospress. Among other things, Prospress has developed WooCommerce Subscriptions, a recurring payment solution specifically designed for WooCommerce. Given that physical and digital subscriptions are taking over the e-commerce world, it makes sense that Automattic […]

Remote workers and nomads represent the next tech hub

Amid calls for a dozen different global cities to replace Silicon Valley — Austin, Beijing, London, New York — nobody has yet nominated “nowhere.” But it’s now a possibility. There are two trends to unpack here. The first is startups that are fully, or almost fully, remote, with employees distributed around the world. There’s a […]

Airbnb, Automattic and Pinterest top rank of most acquisitive unicorns

It takes a lot more than a good idea and the right timing to build a billion-dollar company. Talent, focus, operational effectiveness and a healthy dose of luck are all components of a successful tech startup. Many of the most successful (or, at least, highest-valued) tech unicorns today didn’t get there alone. Mergers and acquisitions […]

Geoengineering could solve our climate problems if anyone allowed it

This weekend, I finished reading Oliver Morton’s The Planet Remade (thanks to reader Eliot Peper for recommending it). Morton has a multitude of goals with the book, but there were two I think are deeply valuable. First, geoengineering is a plausible approach to solving our climate problems this century, and second, engineering the climate generates […]

WordPress.com parent company acquires Atavist

Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Longreads, Simplenote and a few other things, is acquiring Brooklyn-based startup Atavist. Atavist has been working on a content management system for independent bloggers and writers. With an Atavist website, you can easily write and publish stories with a ton of media. You might think that this isn’t particularly […]