Silver Lake has invested $250 million in Austin-based WP Engine, a WordPress digital experience platform. In conjunction with the funding, Silver Lake’s Greg Mondre, Lee Wittlinger and Mark Gillett have been added to WP Engine’s board of directors.
AUSTIN, Texas — Jan. 4, 2018 – WP Engine, the world’s leading WordPress Digital Experience Platform, announced today a $250 million investment from Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, and the company’s achievement of more than $100 million in annual recurring revenue with over 75,000 customers globally, up 30 percent year-over-year. Silver Lake’s investment in the company will help accelerate innovation on WP Engine’s Digital Experience Platform and fuel future growth internationally. As part of the transaction, Greg Mondre, Managing Partner of Silver Lake, and Lee Wittlinger and Mark Gillett, Managing Directors of Silver Lake, will join WP Engine’s Board of Directors.
“We are partnering with Silver Lake because of their incredible track record as technology investors, their understanding of digital platform businesses like ours and because of the alignment in core values we share,” said Heather J. Brunner, Chairwoman and CEO of WP Engine. “This partnership will help us further invest in our Digital Experience Platform and bring the power of our platform to WordPress users all around the globe.”
Founded in 2010, WP Engine is a market leader in one of the fastest growing segments of the Internet, providing digital solutions for companies of all sizes to build, manage and deliver compelling websites. The company’s Digital Experience Platform is the world’s leading software and services solution for websites developed on the WordPress content management system (CMS), the preeminent open source software for website building that powers approximately 29 percent of the Internet, up from 13 percent in 2010.* Today, WP Engine powers more WordPress websites than all other managed WordPress hosts combined among the one million most trafficked websites on the Internet.**
“WP Engine’s enterprise-grade technology and excellent service enable its customers to rapidly create high quality websites with best-in-class performance,” said Mr. Wittlinger of Silver Lake. “We believe WP Engine is poised to take a leading global position in the fast-growing WordPress ecosystem and we look forward to working alongside the company’s talented management team as it executes on its next phase of development.”
Silver Lake’s strategic growth investment in WP Engine follows a series of recent milestones for the company:
The Only WordPress Digital Experience Platform
Created to address some of the biggest issues for digital marketers and developers, the WP Engine WordPress Digital Experience Platform provides a comprehensive suite of software, infrastructure, analytics, security and support solutions needed to create websites and applications on WordPress. The only one of its kind in the WordPress industry, these solutions enable a global ecosystem of developers, marketers, and agencies to innovate and go-to-market faster, improve the performance of their brand’s online presence, deliver actionable insights to improve the ROI of their sites and applications and enable integrations with the best-in-category technologies and trusted brands like Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Agency Partner Program Growth 10X
Launched in September, the Agency Partner Program enables agencies of all sizes to use WordPress to grow their business, focus on driving creative, engaging experiences and deliver clear impact for their clients. Since the launch, the Agency Partner Program has quickly enrolled over 500 digital agency partners, helping them be more competitive in the marketplace and innovative with their clients.
Expands Integrations With Key Technology Partners
WP Engine is the first WordPress solution to achieve Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketing and Commerce Competency status for demonstrating technical capabilities in delivering eCommerce solutions and helping developers and marketers manage and publish WordPress digital experiences. Also this past year, WP Engine broadened its relationship with Google, as a Google Cloud Platform Technology partner, in payments and in analytics by building its Content Performance product offering on top of Google Analytics. Lastly, WP Engine partnered with digital intelligence leader New Relic to include its analytics software as part of a new Application Performance solution, providing code-level visibility to help developers troubleshoot faster, optimize their WordPress experiences, and increase development agility.
Opens New Office in Brisbane
In October 2017, WP Engine announced the opening of its new office in Brisbane to further support the company’s surging customer base across Australia and New Zealand. The company expects to more than double its customer base and ramp its employees there over the next three years. The Brisbane office is the company’s latest global expansion, following the opening of offices in London in 2015 and Limerick, Ireland in 2016.
Featured on Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials and 100 Best Medium Workplaces lists
Awarded Company of the Year (Computer Services – Large) at the 14th Annual International Business Awards, also known as the Stevie’s, the world’s premier business awards program
Chairwoman & CEO Heather J. Brunner and Founder/CTO Jason Cohen were named winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for the Central Texas region
Recognized as a Best Place to Work four years in a row by the Austin Business Journal and by the San Antonio Business Journal
Received RecognizeGood’s award for Ethics in Business and Community
Won the Business Intelligence Group’s 2017 BIG Awards for Tech Executive (Jason Cohen) and Product of the Year (WordPress Digital Experience Platform)
The Rise of Multiple Content Management Systems In The Enterprise
A new, international study jointly commissioned by WP Engine and Manifesto and conducted by Vanson Bourne explores which CMS technologies are used most commonly by enterprises. The study surveyed over 300 enterprise-level IT and marketing decision-makers in the U.S. and U.K. The majority (61 percent) of the respondents worked for organizations with at least 3,000 employees and on average came from organizations whose global revenue totaled $3.2 billion. The survey found WordPress is on par with Adobe Experience Manager as the most frequently used enterprise CMS in either a primary or secondary fashion. WordPress was also the leading secondary CMS.
“Clearly 2017 was an outstanding year for WP Engine, our customers and our employees,” said Ms. Brunner. “Our mission is to help our customers win online. We wouldn’t have this phenomenal success without our incredible employees delivering outstanding technology and service to our customers everyday. We are looking forward to more customer success led growth around the world in 2018.”
WP Engine was advised by RBC Capital Markets, LLC on the transaction.
About Silver Lake
Silver Lake is the global leader in technology investing, with about $39 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital and a team of approximately 100 investment and value creation professionals located in Silicon Valley, New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Silver Lake’s portfolio of investments collectively generates more than $140 billion of revenue annually and employs more than 300,000 people globally. The firm’s current portfolio includes leading technology and technology-enabled businesses such as Alibaba Group, Ancestry, Broadcom Limited, Cast & Crew, Ctrip, Dell Technologies, Endeavor, Fanatics, Global Blue, GoDaddy, Motorola Solutions, Red Ventures, Sabre, SoFi, SolarWinds and Symantec. For more information about Silver Lake and its entire portfolio, please visit www.silverlake.com.
About WP Engine
WP Engine is the world’s leading WordPress Digital Experience Platform that gives companies of all sizes the agility, performance, intelligence, and integrations they need to drive their business forward faster. WP Engine’s combination of tech innovation and an award-winning team of WordPress experts are trusted by over 75,000 companies across 130 countries to provide counsel and support, helping brands create world-class digital experiences. Founded in 2010, WP Engine is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has offices in San Francisco, California; San Antonio, Texas; London, England; Limerick, Ireland, and Brisbane, Australia. WPEngine.com.