WooConference 2014

WooThemes has a new home

Today marks a significant day in my journey as a business owner. From New York, we can now announce that WooThemes has joined the Automattic family!

It’s the end of a chapter I’m hugely proud of, that began all the way back in 2007, and the start of an exciting new chapter aligned with our dream partner and the ultimate home for our open source platform, WooCommerce.

The past twelve months have been ones of immense hard work at WooThemes and much personal reflection for me as a co-founder. Our team has grown to 55 talented, fun and remote working individuals, our flagship product WooCommerce currently powers close to 25% of all online stores, we have monthly events being organised by our evangelical community in cities around the world, we have eCommerce service providers from all avenues knocking at our door, and our revenues and profit margins continue to grow.

We’ve watched and engaged with massive eCommerce, payment and tech companies – as well as venture capitalists – on an ever-changing backdrop of significant IPO and acquisition announcements, strategic partnerships and tech investments in competitors and allies. It’s an exciting jungle out there.

And we’ve been in a privileged position, in terms of being approached and woo-ed by potential partners.

What to do with such opportunities, and which ones to seize, has involved a weighty sense of responsibility and valuable lessons in negotiation, growth, change management, risk assessment, leadership, empathy and communication. All the while we’ve been surrounded by a strong and diverse advisory team that have helped ask all the important questions.

It’s been a year I’m thankful to have been able to share with a co-founder I appreciate greatly, as a friend and colleague. Magnus and myself have spent a bordering on disturbing amount of time together over the years, in many cities, sharing hotel rooms, surfboard meetings, Skype calls, Slack convos, Snapchats and thousands of email threads. Through and beyond Adii’s exit from WooThemes in late 2013, Magnus and I have remained aligned in our goals, objectives, and ambitions for our company.

Hard work doesn’t come without sacrifice. Late night cross-Atlantic phone calls and hangouts, constant entrepreneurial mind games, and the 24/7 responsibilities of a business owner make for a challenging work-life balance. I’d like to thank my supportive wife for being a steady source of perspective as well as for love that she and my three year old boy bring.

I look forward to sharing more of the valuable experiences and lessons learned as we’ve navigated this period of fantastic business and personal growth.

I’m excited about where we can now take WooThemes, with the expertise and resources Automattic can provide and with full peace of mind as to our alignment in values, culture and work ethic. Together, we’re going to be able to make huge inroads into proving the platform abilities of WordPress.

The future starts this week, as we discuss and celebrate what is possible with the Automattic leadership team here in New York.

Thank you to our team, and our extended community of partners, developers and customers. 

Further reading: 

Press Coverage

31 thoughts on “WooThemes has a new home”

  1. Congratulations Mark! It’s huge news for you personally, as well as the company and the platform itself.

    For years, the missing piece of the WooCommerce puzzle has been a hosted service to act as the “gateway drug” into the platform (or just a solid service for those who don’t need the freedom of self-hosted). Automattic is without a doubt the best partner in the world to provide that missing piece.

  2. Fantastic news, Mark! This is a winning combination and is going to lead to great things in the future for WooMattic, no doubt.

    Hearty congratulations to you personally as well. Entrepreneurship is a hard road to travel and it’s always fantastic to see that journey bear fruit 🙂

  3. Congratulations Mark. This is huge 🙂 and probably one of the best landmark you guys have achieve in the journey in WordPress. Having witnessed you guys since the beginning, this is certainly a big step for both Woo and Automattic. Hoping for an awesome future for you guys and WP community.

    Keep going!

  4. Nice one Mark, well done! Would have loved being a fly on the wall during the negotiations. Interested to see who else Automattic adds to the stable.

  5. This is brilliant. As a fellow South African, I can’t help feeling proud of the important role Saffas played in this important milestone for the entire WordPress community.

    Well done! If WooCommerce could make it easy for me to get an online store up and running, you can do it for a much wider audience.

  6. Huge congratulations to you Mark! I remember you getting things going in 2007 while working from home in the Southfields area back then. You see it was around then that I was hassling you for your time to help me get my little music blog up and running, and it was time you gave so kindly. Music blogs hosting mp3’s are properly illegal now and so the site is long gone, but the memory of how it came together and how delighted I was in producing content for it is alive and well. Much appreciated.

    You might be surprised to find out that you greatly inspired me a number of years ago with a quote you put on Facebook once. That quote being – “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” It was the first time that I’d read those famous and powerful lines and it really struck a chord with me. Mike Tyson knockout punch sort of thing. Anyway, I’m two years into a personal project of my own (a.k.a the dream) where I’m my own boss and am grinding my way towards success. So thank you!

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