Updated: WordPress In Play, Velocity Among Others In The Mix; WP Buys

Updated: Automattic, the company behind WordPress, the popular commercial blog software , is a sales candidate, according to our sources.

The difference between Automattic’s hopes and what buyers are willing to pay so far is holding back progress. The range we’ve heard is from $150 million to $300 million…the upper end being the company’s hopes, and the lower end being the amount buyers are interested in. (We think it would sell quickly at the lower end, and, no, we don’t get commission.) Automattic has only raised about $1.1 million in funding till now, or at least that’s what the company has disclosed publicly (though we suspect it has raised more.) Among those viewed as potential buyers, according to multiple sources: Velocity Investment Group, the roll-up fund founded by Jon Miller and Ross Levinsohn, and backed by General Atlantic. They’ve talked although it’s too soon to characterize talks as serious. For the right price though …

Meanwhile, WordPress has also made a small acquisition itself: it has acquired blog avatar service Gravatar. Some more info on the service and acquisition here. The service is simple: an 80