This comes just a few months after his December launch, when he announced he wasn’t seeking funding for the San Francisco company. Funny how that works. We believed him, and think he was being genuine at the time, because we’ve followed him for some time now, and he talks rarely about money, always about vision. And nothing drives VCs wilder than a confident 22-year-old who says he doesn’t need any cash. So then they go dangle it in front of him, and he realizes that maybe its easier to take a little dough than spend his time “robbing Peter to pay Paul” each month, as he puts it.
The amount wasn’t announced, but it comes from Polaris Ventures (Mike Hirshland), Blacksmith Capital (Phil Black, now at True Ventures), Radar Partners (Doug Mackenzie), and CNET (Shelby Bonnie).
Automattic’s WordPress is up against Six Apart’s Movable Type to become the leader in the blogging space, at least as far as top-grade blog software is concerned. (Full disclosure: We use Movable Type; and having studied both, we’ve found that each has its advantages and disadvantages). Automattic also operates an anti-spam filter for blogs, called Akismet, and a hosted version of WordPress, called WordPress.com.
Here are Matt’s words on the funding:
…Automattic isn’t going to get fancy SoMA offices, throw huge parties at SxSW, or “get big fast.” We took a small amount of capital to put things that were already growing fast in a stable position, so from month to month you’re not robbing Peter to pay Paul. We’re going to use the money to pre-emptively address scaling issues before they happen, and continue to share everything we can back to the community, like all of the code behind WP.com in WordPress MU, the spellchecking feature we sponsored, free Akismet for 99.9% of users, and a few other goodies we still have up our sleeve…