WordPress now accounts for 34 percent of all websites globally, and today one of the most important companies that help manage the creation and management of some of the WP hosts is a bit bigger through consolidation in it further ecosystem. WP Engine, which works with companies to build and manage their WordPress hosting services, has acquired Flywheel, a smaller competitor.
Financial terms of the agreement are not disclosed, WP Engine's CEO and CEO Heather Brunner said in an interview, but she confirmed to TechCrunch that it involved the company getting a small round (amount also unknown) from its existing investors to finance the agreement. WP Engine's investors include Silver Lake (last year, $ 250 million in the company) along with WordPress developer Automattic, Silverton, GuidePost Growth Equity (formerly known as North Bridge) and Eric Ries ("Lean Startup" fame). [1
"It is our ambition to build a publicly-owned company, and this acquisition is part of what is happening" she said. (Ironically, it could mean that the WordPress partner, and sometimes competitor, could become public before it does.)
The agreement is a sign of ecosystem consolidation that has built around WordPress. WP Engine is a veritable power plant in the ecosystem that has been an early mover in space – WordPress backed it back in 2011 – and is now working to build and manage sites for around 120,000 brands and agencies in 150 countries (probably the total number of this in terms of actual pages).
The WP Engine, which Brunner describes it, focuses heavily on medium and large businesses, while Flywheel – founded and now based on Omaha – has focused on smaller businesses. It makes the two natural complements to each other, but Brunner notes that it will be more accomplished from the association.
"The team that is very product-focused," she noted. "They've built a package that we feel has been focused around small agencies, but they're also types of tools that larger agencies will benefit from." She refers to the product Local by Flywheel, a local development program used by more than 150,000 developers.
Flywheel, founded in 2012, had only increased about $ 6 million in funding, including a $ 4 million round several years ago. The economies of scale to throw in their party with the WP Engine will give it a much broader exposure and access to new customers.
"We founded Flywheel with the belief that in order to help advertising to do their best work, we needed to create an internal culture that encourages our employees to do the same," said Dusty Davidson, CEO and co-founder of Flywheel. in a statement. "That philosophy has led us to build an incredible company and some of the most dearest products in WordPress, backed by an impressive group of talented people and the most notable open source community in the world."
WP Engine Having made some other acquisitions before this, by other partners in the WordPress ecosystem, marking it as a consolidator in the field Brunner noted that while some of the company's growth efforts may lead to further acquisitions, it also follows a new trace of working with third-party partners and acting as an intermediary platform for companies to include other services to run their websites, partners in the WP Engine ecosystem – along with WordPress itself, of course ig – includes Amazon Web Services, Cloudflare, Google, HubSpot and New Relic, she noted.