Automattic’s WordPress VIP acquires Parse.ly to bring web content analytics to the enterprise
February 8, 2021
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WordPress VIP (WPVIP), Automattic’s enterprise-focused content management platform, has acquired Parse.ly, an engagement analytics platform aimed at online publishers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

While Automattic is perhaps better known as the parent company of WordPress.com, it also operates a host of third-party services including WPVIP, which is a managed hosting service for  enterprises and high-traffic websites. With WPVIP, which is an official Automattic subsidiary with some 150 employees and its own leadership and development teams, companies such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Slack, Spotify, and Facebook gain access to a dedicated team of WordPress experts alongside a suite of enterprise-grade plugins, integrations, and APIs.

After a prolonged beta period, Parse.ly launched its flagship “Dash” product in 2012 to help online publishers gain insights into what people are reading on their site and how they got there. A few years later, the company introduced a whole new platform that factored in all the ways that publishers seek revenue beyond advertising, such as paywalls, events, research reports, ecommerce, and more, while in 2018 it launched Currents, which uses AI to measure real-time audience attention. The New York-based company had raised around $13 million in outside funding.

Above: Parse.ly dashboard

WPVIP said that it will integrate Parse.ly’s real-time content analytics and content recommendation smarts into its own analytics toolset, benefiting WPVIP’s existing customer base, while Parse.ly’s customers will gain immediate access to WPVIP. All in all, this acquisition will make both WPVIP and Parse.ly much stickier propositions, with the new combined unit being spearheaded by existing WordPress VIP CEO Nick Gernert.

The acquisition comes 16 months after Automattic raised $300 million from Salesforce, an investment which highlighted Automattic’s intentions for the enterprise sphere. Shortly before that, Automattic had acquired ZBS CRM, a customer relationship management plugin for WordPress, while it also operates an ecommerce plugin called WooCommerce, which it acquired in 2015. It’s clear that Automatic has been investing in its enterprise aspirations for some time, and Parse.ly fits neatly into those plans.

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