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Automattic Hits 300 Million Unique Visitors, Roughly $10 Million In Revenue

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Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg and CEO Toni Schneider were interviewed by our own Alexia Tsotsis at Le Web 10 today. Our live notes (paraphrased):

Can you talk about your vision from blogging and how it changed from 2003 to 2010?

I really wanted software for my own blog, there was no Javascript at the time. By the time people started to really think about Web apps, WordPress was becoming more than just a blogging tool, but more of a CMS.

So now people use it to power their websites not just their blogs.

What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? You transferred the trademark recently right?

Tricky one.

We started as an open source project, but where we were in 2005 we weren’t sure how to take it to the next level. What if it could be one-click simple, so that became WordPress.com. And then millions of people started using it, but we still had to consider the .org part.

We looked at the situation, and we decided the trademark belongs in a non-profit organization.

What are the challenges of building a business based on open-source technology?

The biggest challenge is to start a business based on an open-source project that wouldn’t actually kill the open source project and scare away the community. Our goal has been for both to reinforce each other, and it has worked. Both have seen growth.

How big is WordPress?

There are about 30 million publishers right now. That’s roughly 10% of all websites in the world. We’re currently getting about 300 million unique visitors on WordPress.com a month.

Are you making money?

We’re focused on growth right now, so we’ve invested a lot in infrastructure and so on. We haven’t been focused on revenues so far, but I can tell you we’re break-even.

How big is the company right now?

We’re about 74 people.

(TechCrunch: we hear that Automattic makes a little under $1 million a month from all its services combined. That’s roughly $10 million a year, based on what we’ve heard from reliable sources.)

Where does most of the revenue come from?

Most comes from premium services, the hosting service etcetera.

What’s the exit potential for Automattic?

Our goal’s not to be acquired.

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