WP Engine Inks $250 Million from Silver Lake

Silver Lake has invested $250 million in WP Engine, a provider of managed WordPress cloud hosting solutions for websites. The Silicon Valley private equity firm will buy out early investors for a majority stake in the company.

Become a Subscriber

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading this article.

Subscribe Now

Austin, TX-based WP Engine will reportedly use the funding to expand its operations in Europe and Australia. The eight-year-old platform which helps businesses build and run websites on WordPress will continue to develop its Digital Experience Platform. Apart from web hosting, the enterprise software provider integrates with services such as AWS and offers its customers analytics, security and support alongside its infrastructure product.

“We really didn’t need this investment to run the business,” said WP Engine’s Chief Executive Officer Heather Brunner in an interview. “We’re leveraging this partnership with Silver Lake to accelerate what’s possible.”

The startup says it has more than 75,000 customers and generates over $100 million in annual recurring revenue. Reporting 30% sales growth over last year, WP Engine says nearly a third comes from its customers located overseas.

WP Engine claims to be one of the world’s largest WordPress hosts, indicating that its platform powers an approximate 5% of all Internet visits. WordPress reportedly makes up a whopping 29% of the Internet as a whole, up from 13% in 2010.

The company has raised around $290 million to date from investors including North Bridge Venture Partners and Silverton Partners.

“WP Engine’s enterprise-grade technology and excellent service enable its customers to rapidly create high quality websites with best-in-class performance,” said Silver Lake’s Lee Wittlinger in a press release. “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.”

As part of the deal, Lee Wittlinger, Greg Mondre and Mark Gillett of Silver Lake will join WP Engine’s board of directors.