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$29.5m for and Automattic

automattic financingTwo million bloggers reaching more than 114million unique visitors and now, $29.5m in cash.  That’s the amount of money software company Automattic, the developer behind the popular open source blogging platform and the hosted community has raised in a Series B financing.

The round was led by existing investors Polaris Venture Partners, True Ventures and Radar Partners.  The New York Times, which runs a number of blogs on the software, also invested.

Automattic is best known for developing the Wordpress publishing platform which is available freely as an open source content management system for those running their own sites. (Metue is built on the Wordpress platform).  The company’s bigger business, however,  is the community of wordpress blogs they host on

Competing with other blogging community sites like Blogger (Google) and Type pad, provides a free platform for those without the technical skill, or desire, to administer their own domain and servers.   Using the tools available on the website, a would-be writer can quickly set up their own masthead for no cost.

Blogs at collectively welcome more than 114million unique visitors a month (42m from the U.S.), according to Quantcast.   

Recent increases in the storage capacity for hosted sites (now 3gb/blog) are fueling speculation Automattic may be working to add more support for video and social networking features in the future.  There’s no specific confirmation of that.

Automattic’s founder, Matt Mullenweg, did say on his own blog that the company is “now positioned to execute on our vision of a better web not just in blogging, but expanding our investment in anti-spam, identity, wikis, forums and more – small open source pieces, loosely joined with the same approach and philosophy that has brought [the company] this far.”

Money from the financing will be directed to a number of projects.  Some will fund development of Automattic’s Akismet spam blocking tools and their BBpress web forum software.   Other funds will be allocated to improve the existing platform and infrastructure.

Another use of proceeds, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal,  may be to cash out some of the vested holdings of the company’s founders.

Automattic previously raised $1.1m in a Series A round.


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