Om reported yesterday that Automattic, which makes the blogging platform WordPress (which we use), just raised $29.5 million in a B-round of venture funding. It is a big deal for the blogging industry — one investor is The New York Times, just the latest warning flare over the bow of old media. (True Ventures, an Automattic investor, has also funded GigaOM.)
Founder Matt Mullenweg has now blogged about the deal: what ‘Act II’ means for Automattic; how his company got here; some of the lessons he learned along the way. You’ll identify with the entrepreneurial tale:
“In 2005 Automattic was small. Through some miracle I had convinced Donncha O Caoimh, Andy Skelton, and Ryan Boren to leave their safe jobs, join a company with almost no money in the bank run by someone with no experience, and whose core idea was to give away and open source all our core IP. There were more questions than answers. Would a hosted version of WordPress move beyond the geek appeal the OS project had? How would the virtual company with no office work? Could we develop a service alongside an OS project without screwing both of them up? Should I raise money? Most importantly, would it scale?…”
Some of the answers to his questions were “hard-learned,” Matt writes. Aren’t they always? Which is why there is wisdom to be taken from Matt’s experience. Read his full post here.