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, […]

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 […]

Week in Review: Snapchat beats a dead horse

Hey. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about how Netflix might have some rough times ahead as […]

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 […]

The News Project’s publishing platform goes live with its first customer, CALmatters

CEO Merrill Brown says he founded The News Project to address one of the big problems in the journalism business: “It costs too much to launch and operate news sites.” It’s an issue that Brown knows well — he’s a former journalist, journalism executive and educator who served as the founding editor in chief of […]

WordPress management site WP Engine acquires Flywheel as it moves to a $1B valuation and IPO

WordPress now accounts for 34 percent of all websites globally, and today one of the key companies that helps handle the creation and management of some of those WP-hosted sites is getting a little bigger through some consolidation in the wider ecosystem. WP Engine, which works with businesses to build and manage their WordPress-hosted sites, […]

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 […]

Rich-text editing platform Tiny raises $4M, launches file management service

Maybe you’ve never heard about Tiny, but chances are, you’ve used its products. Tiny is the company behind the text editors you’ve likely used in WordPress, Marketo, Zendesk, Atlassian and other products. The company is actually the result of the merger of Moxiecode, the two-person team behind the open source TinyMCE editor, and Ephox, the […]

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 […]

WP Engine, a managed WordPress platform, raises $250M from Silver Lake

While apps continue to grow in popularity as a primary route for people to interface with the digital world, there remains a very significant role for the web, and today, a startup that helps businesses build and run websites, specifically on WordPress, has raised a very large round of money. WP Engine, which claims to […]