Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com but also WooCommerce, Tumblr and more, will take over Frontity’s team, including its founders Pablo Postigo (CEO) and Luis Herranz (lead developer), to work on the WordPress open source project with a particular focus on front-end development tools and improving website performance.
The US company has invested in Frontity in April last year alongside Spanish VC firm K Fund and local business angels as part of a €1 million round.
In a blog post, Frontity's founders explain how the investment has led to today's announcement:
"They have always understood our ambitions with Frontity and the more we talked with them, the more we realized our visions and values aligned.
After a series of conversations, Automattic offered to sponsor our team to work directly on the WordPress open source project. In particular, to contribute our expertise in developer experience, frontend tooling, performance, and UX to the WordPress core itself, instead of doing so only for an external tool."
If that sounds like an aqui-hire to you, that's because it probably is, but one that makes a ton of sense for all parties involved. Note that Frontity was still at 'pre-revenue' level, but will now have the resources to work with the WordPress community to improve the developer experience of building both blocks and themes.
In the Spanish entrepreneurs' words:
"WordPress is already the best content platform on the web. We want to help it become the best development platform on the web."