Automattic Acquires Beeper for $125M, Combining Two Multi-Network Chat Apps

Lily Polanco Follow Apr 09, 2024 · 2 mins read
Automattic Acquires Beeper for $125M, Combining Two Multi-Network Chat Apps
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Automattic, the company behind the popular blogging platform WordPress, has acquired multinetwork chat app Beeper. The acquisition will see Beeper merge with Automattic’s existing chat app Texts.com to create a combined service offering connectivity across multiple messaging networks.

Beeper allows users to chat across platforms like SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and more directly from its apps. However, the company recently abandoned efforts to create an iMessage bridge after facing resistance from Apple. Texts.com offers a similar unified chat experience and does support iMessage, using a desktop app that users run on their own Apple devices.

Under the acquisition, Beeper and Texts.com will operate as a single team within Automattic but maintain independence. Beeper co-founder Eric Migicovsky will become Automattic’s new Head of Messaging. The merger aims to bring Beeper’s multi-network capabilities together with Texts.com’s iMessage integration to create a more fully-featured cross-platform chat service.

Migicovsky said in a statement that he has known Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg for years and is excited for Beeper to join such a supportive organization for open source projects. On the same day as the acquisition announcement, Beeper also dropped its waitlist, inviting over 450,000 users signed up for early access.

Beeper’s Android app has also been completely rebuilt and is now publicly available without beta testing. This new app no longer requires setting up networks via desktop, allowing Android users to easily connect chats across platforms directly on their phones.

Combining Beeper and Texts.com under Automattic could help further both products’ goals of offering a unified chat experience across all major networks. While Beeper struggled to bypass Apple’s tight control of iMessage, Texts.com found a workaround by hosting the iMessage bridge on users’ personal Mac devices. Going forward as a combined team, they may be able to leverage each other’s strengths to provide the most comprehensive cross-platform messaging solution available.

The acquisition also gives Beeper and Texts.com access to Automattic’s considerable resources. As the company behind WordPress, which powers over 40% of websites, Automattic has strong expertise in building and supporting widely-used open source projects. This could help the chat apps scale their user bases and better compete in a market currently dominated by standalone network-specific messaging platforms.

Written by Lily Polanco Follow
Junior News Writer @ new.blicio.us.