clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WordPress Parent Automattic Buys WooCommerce, a Shopping Tool for Web Publishers

$30 million-plus for the e-commerce toolkit.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Last year Automattic, the company behind, raised $160 million. Now the publishing software company is spending some of that money, by acquiring WooCommerce, an e-commerce tools company.

Sources say Automattic will spend more than $30 million in cash and stock to buy the 55-person company. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg wouldn’t comment on the price but said the acquisition was the largest his company had made, “by about 6x.”

WooCommerce helps WordPress publishers sell stuff, via a software plugin that turns sites into online stores, and competes with the likes of Shopify and Bigcommerce. The company says its software powers more than 600,000 sites.

Like WordPress, the basic version of the software is free, but WooCommerce charges extra for features such as appointment booking, subscription pricing and a product recommendation engine. Next year Automattic may bake WooCommerce’s features into its subscription business for enterprise users (Re/code is a customer of the VIP service).

The WooCommerce service grew out of parent company WooThemes, which was founded in 2008. Mullenweg, who is buying the entire operation, says it is profitable.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.