Tumblr, the publishing site Yahoo acquired for more than US$1 billion in 2013, has changed hands again. However, its new owners Auttomattic, which owns WordPress.com, reportedly paid less than $20 million for the business.
Yahoo had already written down Tumblr’s value by $230 million in 2016 and the blogging site became part of Verizon when the US telco acquired Yahoo in 2017.
Verizon had reportedly been looking for a new buyer for Tumblr as it restructured its media and advertising business. Overnight the company announced it is selling the blogging platform to Automattic.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However Axios is reporting the price tag was “well below $20 million” while another source puts it below $10 million. Reporter Dan Primack tweeted the price was less than $3 million.
The blogging platform and its 200 employees will now join San Francisco-based Auttomattic, which owns a number of digital publishing properties.
“Tumblr is one of the web’s most iconic brands,” said Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg.
“It is an essential venue to share new ideas, cultures and experiences, helping millions create and build communities around their shared interests. We are excited to add it to our lineup, which already includes WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Simplenote, Longreads, and more.”
Founded in 2007, Tumblr still hosts more 475 million blogs.
Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said the deal was “the culmination of a thoughtful, thorough and strategic process.”
“Tumblr is a marquee brand that has started movements, allowed for true identities to blossom and become home to many creative communities and fandoms. We are proud of what the team has accomplished and are happy to have found the perfect partner in Automattic, whose expertise and track record will unlock new and exciting possibilities for Tumblr and its users,” Gowrappan said.