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WordPress VIP and Parse.ly

WordPress VIP (WPVIP), the enterprise arm of WordPress.com, is acquiring Parse.ly, a content analytics platform that's used by thousands of digital publishers.

Why it matters: The deal is the first large enterprise software acquisition for Automattic, the parent company to WordPress.com, Tumblr and other tech platforms that enable people to publish content to the open web.

  • Automattic raised $300 million as a part of a Series D round from Salesforce Ventures in 2019, putting its valuation at $3 billion post-funding.
  • "Salesforce leading that round helped validate for us what we think is our opportunity for enterprise as a business," says WPVIP CEO Nick Gernert.

Details: The deal will bring shared benefits to the enterprise customers of both Parse.ly and WordPress VIP, of which there is overlap.

  • In a statement, the companies said that more than 800 combined enterprise customers worldwide will have access to the expanded set of capabilities — including Spotify, CNN, The Atlantic, and Slack.
  • All of Parse.ly's roughly 50 employees will join Wordpress VIP's team of 150 people. Automattic has roughly 1330 employees. Employees from both companies are and will continue to be fully distributed.
  • "We don't just have a shared mindset, but a shared philosophy of distributed and remote work," says Sachin Kamdar, Parse.ly CEO and co-founder. "We've been getting to know each other over the last few months. We have a shared vision."
  • The deal closes on Monday. Financial terms are not being disclosed.

What's in it for Wordpress VIP: In the near-term, all of WPVIP's enterprise customers will get access to Parse.ly's insights to measure and therefore improve their content, says Gernert.

  • WPVIP clients will get access to Parse.ly features, like content measurement and analytics and AI-driven content recommendations
  • "We're also excited about bringing on more product focussed people," Gernert says.
  • In the long-term, Gernert says he hopes to bring deeper commerce insights to Parse.ly to help WPVIP clients better optimize for commerce.

What's in it for Parse.ly: The deal will bring Parse.ly's team closer to the content being produced by many of its existing and potential publisher clients.

  • "We're an analytics company, but the closer we can get to the content creation process, the better intelligence we can provide," says Kamdar.
  • Parse.ly's customers will get access to the full suite of WPVIP offerings, like its global, 24/7 customer success team.
  • The deal will give Parse.ly the resources to hire at an aggressive pace. "It brings more resources to support the capabilities of our team," he adds.

The big picture: Both companies focus on providing services to companies or groups that want to publish on the open web. Publishing on the open web has become a greater focus as "walled gardens" like Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc., continue to dominate the publishing ecosystem.

  • "Our vision for this is to make our publishing software ubiquitous on the web," says Gernert. WordPress and WordPress VIP are intentionally built to be easy and flexibility to use for almost any type of web publisher. "Thats exactly how Parse.ly is built," Gernert added. "It's very user centric."
  • Kamdar notes that Parse.ly's business has transformed over the past few years as all companies started to invest in digital content and experiences. Parse.ly primarily served digital media companies, but now works across industries such as financial services, commerce, technology and travel.

Bottom line: "We want Parse.ly to provide the authoritative first-party content measurement for business content across many channels, whether that be media or corporate," said Andrew Montalenti, chief product officer and co-founder of Parse.ly.

Go deeper

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Crypto meets the real world

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The two largest countries in the world seem intent on effectively banning their citizens from participating in crypto, which poses a serious threat to the crypto agenda.

Why it matters: The crypto world is global — but the real world is fragmented into nation-states, each of which claims control of what happens within its borders.

Meadows cooperating with House Jan. 6 select committee

Mark Meadows. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is cooperating with the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the panel said Tuesday.

Driving the news: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel earlier this month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.