Automattic, the company behind publishing platform WordPress.com, has sold $50 million in a secondary offering led by investment management firm Tiger Global. The sale will allow some early investors and employees to get cash in exchange for their shares, while adding another stakeholder in the company.
The share offering wasn’t necessary to raise funds for the company, according to Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg. In a blog post, he wrote that the company is “healthy, generating cash, and already growing as fast as it can, so there’s no need for the company to raise money directly.” He also noted that the minority of stockholders who participated in the secondary sale continue to hold on to the vast majority of their shares.
Lee Fixel at Tiger Global led the investment, which follows other high-profile, late-stage deals that the firm has made recently. Those include investments in Eventbrite and SurveyMonkey. Tiger Global is also an investor in companies like Palantir, Square and Warby Parker, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn. With the purchase, Tiger will join existing investors in Automattic, such as Polaris Partners, True Ventures, Radar Partners, and The New York Times Company.
WordPress.com, of course, is the publishing platform (one might call it a CMS) that powers a number of high-profile sites, including the one you’re reading right now. WordPress (the open source project upon which WordPress.com is based*) is just about to celebrate its 10th anniversary on May 27 and will have meetups in cities across the world to celebrate.
* Confused yet? This happens every time we write about WordPress, WordPress.com, or Automattic