Matt Mullenweg announced today that Automattic has acquired WooThemes, whose flagship product is the popular eCommerce plugin, WooCommerce. All 55 team members at WooThemes will join Automattic, swelling ranks at Automattic by around 18%. This acquisition is an important milestone for Automattic, validation for the bootstrapped WooThemes, and will be hugely impactful on the WordPress economy as a whole. The history of WooThemes and WooCommerce WooThemes was started in 2008 as one of the first commercial WordPress theme shops. It quickly became popular and paved the way for hundreds of shops to follow in their footsteps. With the leadership of Adii Pienaar and co-founders Mark Forrester and Magnus Jepson, WooThemes did a ton of interesting things over the years, and dominated the market with a handful of other shops. They launched WooCommerce in September 2011, in the middle of the commercial theme heyday. WooCommerce’s origins are a hot mess and a long story. WooThemes worked for a long time to develop, with partners, their own eCommerce solution. After numerous failed attempts and false starts, they hired Mike Jolley and Jay Koster full time, and forked JigoShop after acquisition negotiations
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