WPTavern: Liquid Web Acquires iThemes in Multi-Million Dollar Deal
Liquid Web, a managed hosting service founded in 1997, has acquired iThemes. iThemes recently celebrated its 10th year in business. PostStatus reports that it was an all cash deal and sources confirmed to the Tavern that it was a multi-million dollar acquisition.
iThemes will continue to operate as an independent unit within Liquid Web. Cory Miller will remain as General Manager of iThemes and the company will keep its office and employees in Oklahoma City, OK.
iThemes was founded in 2008 and is part of a group of WordPress focused companies that started around the same time. The group includes WooThemes, Revolution Themes now known as StudioPress, Press75, WPZoom, and others.
WooThemes was acquired by Automattic. StudioPress has branched off into content marketing with CopyBlogger and hosting via StudioPress sites. Press75 was acquired by Westwerk in 2014 and WPZoom continues to operate independently.
iThemes diversified its business a number of times over the years, adding plugins and services to its portfolio. Some of the most notable products include, FlexxTheme, BackupBuddy, Builder, iThemes Sync, and iThemes Security. In 2013, the company branched off into the e-commerce space with Exchange. In 2017, Exchange was acquired by AJ Morris allowing the company to focus on iThemes Sales Accelerator, a new product that works exclusively with WooCommerce.
Considering Liquid Web recently launched its managed WooCommerce hosting, iThemes Sales Accelerator should pair nicely with its services.
This isn’t the first time a large webhosting company has acquired a WordPress business. In the last two years, GoDaddy has acquired three companies with a presence in the WordPress ecosystem.
- April 2013 EIG Acquires MOJO-Themes
- September 2016 GoDaddy Acquires ManageWP
- December 2016 GoDaddy Acquires WP Curve
- March 2017 GoDaddy Acquires Sucuri
After 10 Years, Cory Miller Lets Go
Miller founded iThemes 10 years ago and helped navigate it through the ups and downs that come with running a business. Although Miller no longer owns the company he founded, he’s excited about the next chapter and the opportunities it presents to him and his team.
“One of the keys that has contributed greatly to our success over the last 10 years is being willing to adapt and to innovate and to try new things,” Miller said. “For instance, If we’d kept focusing solely on WordPress themes, which was our primary business for the early years, we wouldn’t be around today.
“As we surveyed the landscape in WordPress, one thing was very obvious to us: hosting is the future. As a bootstrapped company from the beginning, with our DNA as a software company, and seeing where Liquid Web is going, it just made sense for us to join forces.
“We view this is as another chapter in our story of our willingness to adapt and try new things so we can keep doing what we do best — Make People’s Lives Awesome. So we’re tremendously excited about our future with Liquid Web, and what we’re going to be able to do for the WordPress community together.”
Miller says they’re in the middle of the transition process and are working towards tighter integration between iThemes’ products and Liquid Web’s managed hosting services.