We shared some exciting news today that Tiger Global has made a $50mm investment in Automattic.
From our CEO Toni
Tiger Global has recently invested over $50M in Automattic secondary stock purchases. After many years of being backed by a great team of investors who have been with Automattic since the early days – Polaris Partners, True Ventures, Radar Partners, and the New York Times Company – Tiger has joined this illustrious group by purchasing shares from early Automattic investors and employees. Along with the on-going growth of WordPress (now powering over 18% of sites on the internet) and the amazing Automattic team (now over 170 employees), this investment is another milestone in our journey towards building a great company.
It’s noteworthy that Tiger has recently invested in companies like SurveyMonkey and Eventbrite, and before that companies like LinkedIn and Facebook. Those names provide a sense of how far Automattic has come and how we’re poised to enter an exclusive circle of successful software companies that are built to last.
And from our founder Matt:
Anyway, wanted to get in front of the news that will inevitably come out in the next week or two: there has been a large secondary transaction in Automattic stock, about $50M worth. “Secondary” means that it’s existing stockholders, like the earliest investors or employees, selling stock to another investor versus money going into the company (“primary”). It was led by Lee Fixel at Tiger Global, one of the behind-the-scenes quiet geniuses that has previously invested in SurveyMonkey, Facebook, LinkedIn, Palantir, Square, Warby Parker… Automattic is healthy, generating cash, and already growing as fast as it can so there’s no need for the company to raise money directly — we’re not capital constrained.
Plus always gratifying to see the reactions from our friends:
I’m at Google I/O right now and they just ran a demo of WordPress running on App Engine and using Jetpack to tweet out via the Publicize feature. Cool stuff:
(posting below in case the ad comes down soon).
Grab a paper bag, breathe into it and calm your ass down. You’re hyperventilating because you ain’t never seen a deal like this before. Now collect yourself, then keep reading this incredible description that barely serves to do justice to my 2010 Felt Gridlock 3 speed fixed gear bike. Yes 3 SPEED FIXED GEAR. Also known as the greatest bike the city has ever had the privilege of existing around.
What makes this bike so much better than every other bike that has ever been pedaled? Glad you asked. It starts with the paint scheme. It looks like Iron Man if Iron Man were a bike. That’s bold, son. Curb appeal. It’s probably also why some piece of trash stole the front tire that originally came with this beauty. Why didn’t he steal the whole bike? Because he knew he wasn’t man enough. That’s ok, I replaced it with something that looks even more boss. The next thing is the genuine leather seat. My taint has had a love/hate relationship with this particular bit of the machine. But it’s got those swanky brass rivets so I can’t stay mad that it smashed my prostate and has likely rendered fatherhood impossible. But let’s face it, I’d rather have have a bike than a kid.
What else? Let’s talk about that three speed in-the-hub, fixed-gear transmission for a second. It’s as gnarly as it is exotic. Like the tropical, saw-toothed platypus. Which is a species that does’t even exist. Fortunately this crazy ass hub does. It offers 3 speeds, as the name implies. It also offers a terrific chance to introduce that dome of yours to the asphalt if you fucking sleep for one single second on this bitch. So don’t trip. Ride safe. Get a helmet and if you’ve never ridden a fixed gear bike, maybe it’s time to move along, young sir because this back tire doesn’t flip flop and it doesn’t offer any respite. What this bike does offer is a one-way ticket to legits-ville. Find a bowling ball. Then find another one. Your nuts must be at least that big to even consider making this whip the dreamiest object to ever take up too much space in your tiny ass apartment. But you’ll be filled with joy once you throw a leg over this flawless piece of American-made* cycling excellence.
What else? Ryan, the paint’s a little dinged up. Yeah, well, that’s called real life. It comes at you fast, bro. Besides, you really want this glimmering, shimmering sex machine catching the eye of some small time thief? I already told you what happened to the tire. You really don’t want to be living your own version of PeeWee’s big adventure. Consider the lived-in feel a natural crime deterrent. If this bike were denim jeans, it’d be called “de-stressed” and you’d be paying extra for the privilege. I’m not gonna charge you extra for it, though. Cause I’m not trying to take advantage of you. But you should take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
But, aren’t you sad about selling the greatest bike on earth? No. When you ride this bike once it permanently eliminates your ability to feel sad about anything ever again. Even for little puppies who are afraid to walk down the stairs, because the stairs…they’re so big, and they’re so little. Puppies who are young, but have already discovered the world to be a cold, unforgiving place. But you won’t give a shit about it because you’ll be on your awesome new bike living the dream.
Ryan, is that a toilet in the background? Yes. Why? Because this bike is the shit. And you’ve just learned something else about me. That’s right, my name is Ryan. And your name is lucky motherfucker if you make the best choice of your life and pay me cold, hard cash for this ridiculous ride.
*Felt bikes are imported from Taiwan. Sorry to burst your bubble, homie, but globalization has been restructuring the way products get manufactured and sold since the 80′s. Some believe it’s eroding the American middle class. If you’re the last to know, sorry for party rocking. Read “The World Is Flat.” Form an opinion. Joint the dialog. By the way, the book is like 12 years old so this shouldn’t be news. Shit’s fucked up, but we didn’t start the fire. No we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it. Now buy this bitchin’ ass bike.
Update: No reason given, but the ad appears to have been removed, now says “This posting has been flagged for removal”
Google just updated it’s main (and under appreciated) “Google Search” iOS app to include Google Now support, which was Android-only up until now.
I updated the app on my iPhone, but it didn’t work, and asked that I check some settings.
Turns out if you are running Google Apps, you need to enable Google Now under the main google apps dashboard in the Mobile settings for “Android”:
Not super intuitive
What is Google Now ? Here is an overview video below:
I gave a talk at USC earlier this week about Automattic and WordPress — something I’ve done for 3 years in a row now.
It’s always a ton of fun, and I make sure to do a survey (by show of hands) each time to see what these undergrad & grad students are using in terms of popular services.
Here are the results:
- WordPress: about 75%+ use WordPress in some capacity
- Facebook: 100%
- Twitter: about 75%
- Tumblr: 33%
- Note taking: Evernote vs Simplenote vs Pen & Paper: About 33% Evernote, the rest a combination of email, other apps, or nothing. And one person still using a pen & paper.
- iOS vs Android: 75% iOS, 25% Android
- SMS vs GroupMe vs MessageMe vs Snapchat: SMS still used by everyone, but the surprise here was Snapchat being used by over 50% of the class.
I asked the obvious question of what they were using Snapchat for – and the answer was that it was just a free SMS-like service, easy to send media, works all over the world and w/ friends overseas — and basically that everyone is on it. Was pretty clear it’s moved beyond the salacious roots (or at least how it was covered early on).
So a big thanks to Zach Posner for having me, and for his entire class for engaging in a really fun and interesting discussion – appreciate the tweets and Instagrams too
Everyone knows I love Uber – better than a taxi in almost all respects, and about the same price for rides longer than 10 minutes (and often cheaper than a taxi for even longer rides). I’m equally obsessed with Waze – a crowd sourced community based GPS/traffic/navigation app that navigates you around traffic, alerts you to accidents, and ultimately gets better the more people use it.
If you are like me, you will occasionally find yourself sitting in the back of an Uber loading up Waze to see how long it will take to get to your next meeting or if you’ll catch your flight. And what you often find is that the driver, although well intentioned and very knowledgeable of the city, doesn’t have a full 360 view of ongoing traffic patters and accidents, and can’t pick the best route the way the Waze app can. A true #firstworldproblem .
So you watch your ETA slowly get later, and you hesitate to give the driver some advise on routes without coming across as this arrogant back-seat-driver.
When I see this happen I usually ask the driver if he or she has heard of Waze — and about 5% of the time they have but they rarely have it available or installed.
So my suggestion: Uber should add a “Waze option” where it’s bundled on the iPhone of the driver, or integrated into the app itself – and give the passenger the option of having the Uber driver just follow the best route as chosen by Waze.
It’s a an easy win for both companies, and gives peace of mind to the passenger.
Twitter turned 7 years old this week. It makes me more grateful than ever for WordPress. Without WordPress, I would not have learned to write with my own voice and style.
WordPress is an awesome platform. WordPress is pretty damn open. Matt Mullenweg is really accesible. Matt is the founder and still pretty much in charge. He was like 15 when he started it. WordPress has community. WordPress powers so much media, but is rarely in the media. I meat Tony Conrad, Stocktwits first venture capital investor, through WordPress. Tony was Matts first investor.
full post on howardlindzon.com
In the physical world, when you shop at a bodega you don’t instantly compare it to an experience at a high-end Dean & DeLuca. When you purchase headphones at the airport, you don’t compare it to the selection and speed of buying something at B&H.
But when we consume digital services or buy stuff online, something radically different happens — at least to me. I get very disappointed when any service doesn’t deliver what the very best service out there is doing. It’s to the point where I change my behavior or try to convince others to adopt the very best. It’s unfair, and doesn’t mirror the offline world, but it’s happening and I suspect it’s driving lots of consumer behaviors these days.
For example, when I purchase any physical product online, I expect shipping to take 2 days max, maybe even just one day. Which is what Amazon/Zappos has trained me to expect. Any service that doesn’t do that, will cause me to double check if I can’t just buy the same thing on Amazon.
I’m a huge fan and user of Uber Conference which allows you to do conference calls with a visual browser interface, provides stats, easy calendar hooks, and calling-in from Chrome. Now when I have to use some other conf calling service with a 10 digit ID and no way to see who is talking – I feel underserved. I try to get the sender of the conf info to switch.
So what’s the conclusion ? Bigger marketshare for the leading services ? Probably. Build something that is at least as good as what the very best is offering ? Yes, but tough to pull off on all fronts.
I think one definite answer to all of this is to do deeper integrations with the very best and build on top of these platforms. If you sell physical stuff, work with Amazon Fulfillment or something similar. Doing voice services, start with integrating Twillio. Building a publishing app, build on top of WordPress.
Otherwise I think you’ll find that your customers are going to turn away when a certain core feature isn’t the best.