Automattic backs Matrix by investing $4.6M in New Vector!

Automattic backs Matrix by investing $4.6M in New Vector!

We're very excited to announce that Automattic, the creator of WordPress, is making a $4.6M strategic investment in New Vector in order to back the Matrix ecosystem - effectively extending our Series-A round from October!

Automattic is one of the most successful and well regarded open source companies, with more than 36% of the websites on the Internet running on WordPress today, so having Matt Mullenweg (co-founder of WordPress and founder of Automattic) and the Automattic team committing to make the most of Matrix in their work going forwards is incredible news!

We share a passion for freedom, open source and the power of open standards, all working together to democratise tech and bring back data ownership to the people.

Automattic makes it a reality by managing to be a successful business while sustainably and responsibly funding and growing open source projects (alongside the Wordpress Foundation), so we’re really looking forward to benefiting from their experience.

The natural fit between Automattic and New Vector means that the opportunities for collaboration are huge, and maybe even more obvious at the open source project level. For instance, Matrix could become the default real-time communication layer for WordPress, be it for a chat plugin, community collaboration or even more... In fact Automattic just opened up a role for a Matrix.org/WordPress Integrations Engineer, showing how serious they are about this partnership and supporting the Matrix ecosystem!

On our side, the investment will be used to continue shaping Riot into an app which delights its users: while we’ve released end-to-end encryption by default on Riot (more on that in a later blog), there is still a lot to do to make it as easy to use as some other apps, without compromising on its power. We will also continue our focus on growing Modular, where anyone can get their very own Matrix server at the click of a button.

So we’d like to thank again Matt and the Automattic team for their enthusiasm, and we’re looking forward to working together on taking the open web to the next level!

-- Amandine, Matthew and the New Vector team

P.S. Journalists can find the official press release below! 👇


New Vector announces strategic investment from Automattic

New Vector, developer of collaboration solutions built on the decentralised Matrix communication protocol has welcomed Automattic Inc as a strategic investor.

Automattic is investing $4.6M in New Vector, extending $8.5M raised in Q4 2019 from Notion Capital, firstminute capital and Dawn Capital and taking New Vector’s funding to a total of $18.1M. Automattic Inc. is the parent company of web publishing and ecommerce platforms WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, and enterprise WordPress VIP.

New Vector develops Riot, the flagship Matrix-based messaging app, and Modular, the leading Matrix-based hosting platform. New Vector, formed by the team who created Matrix, also provides significant development to the Matrix open source project; an open network for secure, decentralised communication which lets organisations and individuals run their own collaboration apps.

“We’re incredibly pleased to have Automattic on board. It is one of the most successful and well regarded open source companies in the world,” says Matthew Hodgson, CEO/CTO, New Vector. “We’re completely aligned in our love for the open web, open source and open standards. We share the same philosophy of transparency and data ownership.”

The natural fit between Automattic and New Vector creates a range of potential as the two companies work together more closely.

Like WordPress, Matrix has a huge spectrum of users from the largest of organisations to individuals. Matrix has a strong installed base within governments, the largest deployment being the French government where it serves the country’s 5.5M civil servants. Matrix is also popular with enterprises, such as Mozilla, which runs all public communication via Riot. Small businesses and individuals that want complete control over their communications are also rapidly adopting Matrix, which now has around 15.8M users.

Matt Mullenweg comments:

“I am very excited about what New Vector is doing with Matrix – creating a robust, secure, open protocol that can bring all flavors of instant messaging and collaboration together, in the way that the web or email has its foundation layer. I share New Vector’s passion for open source and the power of open standards. I’m excited to see how Automattic and New Vector can collaborate on our shared vision in the future.”

Matthew Hodgson adds:

“We’re also looking forward to benefiting from Automattic’s experience in sustainably and responsibly funding and growing open source projects in general. WordPress.com is an excellent example of how one can support development of a project like WordPress without compromising its open source nature.”

With Riot having just launched end-to-end encryption by default, the additional investment will be directed towards improving Riot’s user experience and expanding Modular, New Vector’s SaaS offering.

Although organisations are able to self-host Matrix-based messaging, Modular offers a fully managed deployment. Customers have ownership and control of their collaboration data, along with high-end performance and customisation to suit an organisation’s unique requirements. Modular customers - ranging from SMEs to enterprises - are drawn from a number of sectors that prioritise confidentiality, including government, education and media.

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