Matt Mullenweg built Automattic into a $7.5B company

Matt Mullengweg was a high school student looking for a better way to customize his blog when he discovered the open source software community and created the WordPress platform. A few years later, after dropping out of the University of Houston for a brief stint at CNET Networks, he founded Automattic, which he describes as a holding company for products such as WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce, Simplenote, Longreads and The Atavist. And just like over 40% of the web today, they all run on WordPress. Unlike many of its contemporaries, Automattic, which became a unicorn in 2014, hasn’t gone the IPO route or been acquired. In February of 2021, the company closed a new primary funding round of $288M, and it continues to grow at a rapid pace. The company recently did a $250M share buyback, primarily targeted at current and former employees, at a $7.5B valuation. Matt continues to be energized by the open source community, which keeps him connected to users all over the globe. In fact, even before the pandemic made remote work the norm, Automattic was at the forefront of changing the way we work. A distributed company since day one, Automattic now employs 2000 people across 90 countries. Matt has influenced many leaders with his experiences of running an entirely remote business and keeping people connected, both technically and culturally. He shares more in this episode about what they’ve learned about remote work, and what they’re still figuring out. *** If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than a minute and helps us continue to attract the entrepreneurs you want to hear and learn from. For show notes, past guests and transcripts, visit venturevoice.com Sign up for the Venture Voice email newsletter at venturevoice.substack.com/welcome Follow and connect on social: On Twitter: twitter.com/gregory On Instagram: instagram.com/gregory On YouTube: youtube.com/c/GregoryGalant On LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/galant/ Learn more about Muck Rack at muckrack.com and The Shorty Awards at shortyawards.com

The Consumerisation of Enterprise IT is now the Standard

I was reading the book “Super Founders” by Ali Temaseb in which he breaks down the data behind billion dollar startups. When he asked founders and investors of billion dollar companies what spaces they thought will create the next billion dollar companies, he received a very diverse set of ideas.

Some said synthetic biology, the future of food, healthcare, but one theme that struck me, suggested by Neha Narkhede of Confluence was ‘the consumersation of the enterprise’. As we at Remagine Ventures invest in consumer tech and the suppliers (b2b) to the biggest consumer trends, I became instantly curious about the convergence of the two.

The consumerisation of enterprise was a big investment trend in 2011-2012.

In this Techcrunch article written by Aaron Levie of Box, he refers to it as the rise of enterprise ‘toys’, citing the acquisition of Yammer by Microsoft for $1.3 billion. “Toys” are new startups attacking a narrow or unattractive segment of the market. They are predictably dismissed by the incumbents as lacking key features or being too narrow.

“Students of the Innovator’s Dilemma know that a new technology starts out being just “good enough.” Often, an early solution only serves a niche part of the market with limited requirements. This naturally shields it from the incumbents’ radar, but what starts out as a nascent product attacking an unprofitable or unattractive market segment can quickly mature into a disruptive solution that becomes more than adequate for a broader population”

The idea of the niche, or wedge is well articulated in Lenny Rachitsky’s recent post and in the graphic below:

But even in 2012 it was pretty obvious that in Enterprise tech, a field that was known for long sales cycles, boring/safe UI and on-prem enterprise installations, things were about to change radically:

Today, nearly every internet-connected, employed individual is a potential user and buyer of enterprise tools. And by making these tools accessible to users with just a few clicks, enterprise software providers can reach markets at a scale and speed that were impossible in the client-server paradigm. Across mobile and web, new solutions will emerge that help workers connect and communicate better with their customers, analyze business data, gain new clients, manage their payroll and expenses, and more. 

The rise of enterprise “toys” – Techcrunch, 2012

What changed since 2012

If you think about it, the consumerisation of enterprise tech is now the standard.

  • Employees got used to working with the best tools and expect them to be available
  • Good UI/UX for B2B software is now table stakes
  • Anyone can purchase the product with a credit card
  • Freemium model used to onboard new users
  • Mobile, remote access is key

As evidence, consider how many billion dollar companies have been started in this space that many of us use on a regular basis:

  • Notion
  • Monday
  • Slack
  • Airtable
  • Calendly
  • Zoom
  • Figma
  • Superhuman
  • Canva

Aaron Levie put it nicely in 2019:

Many more startups are still growing and on their way as you can see in this future of work landscape:

The future of work landscape (Source: Digital Native)

The opposite is also true – the “enterprisation” of consumer software

Equally interesting is the ‘enterprisation of consumer software’, especially when it comes to the creator economy – where creators are a small business of one. Readers of this blog are aware of my research in this space, which centres on the ability of creators (experts, hobbyists, influencers, etc) who create various formats of content (courses, videos, streams, newsletters, etc) and build an engaged community around their areas of passion and monetise them.

The creators are suddenly in need of tools that were previously mainly available to companies at the enterprise level:

  • Manage payroll
  • Hold virtual events
  • Edit and create quality content
  • Advertise
  • Sell
  • Customer success
  • Loans/ insurance/ Financing needs

I touched on this topic in “opportunities for startups in the creator economy“. I also recommend Rex Woodbury’s take on this in the “Blurring lines between consumer and enterprise“.

The post The Consumerisation of Enterprise IT is now the Standard appeared first on VC Cafe.

AZB & Partners tops League Table for Legal Advisors to M&A deals in first 9 months of 2021

CAM and Trilegal claim the No.2 & No.3 slotsAZB & Partners topped the Venture Intelligence League Table for Legal Advisor to M&A Transactions during the first nine months of 2021. AZB advised 55 qualifying M&A deals worth $25 Billion. AZB was followed by Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) ($20.8 Billion across 50 deals) and Trilegal ($16.3 Billion across 18 deals) in the second and third spots

EY tops League Table for Transaction Advisors to M&A deals in first 9 months of 2021

Kotak Mahindra Capital and Avendus claim the No.2 & No.3 slotsErnst & Young (EY) topped the Venture Intelligence League Table for Transaction Advisor to M&A Deals during the first nine months of 2021, advising 23 qualifying deals worth $8.2 Billion. Kotak Mahindra Capital ($7.9 Billion across 8 deals) and Avendus ($5.7 Billion across 7 deals) took the second and third spots respectively. JM

AZB & Partners tops League Table for Legal Advisors to Private Equity deals for first 9 months of 2021

CAM and SAM claim the No.2 & No.3 slotsAZB & Partners (AZB) topped the Venture Intelligence League Table for Legal Advisor to Private Equity Transactions in the first nine months of 2021. AZB & Partners advised PE deals worth $25.6 Billion (across 120 qualifying deals) during the period. Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) ($19.9 Billion across 100 deals) and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) ($15.3

Avendus tops League Table for Transaction Advisors to PE deals for first 9 months of 2021

Ernst & Young and Kotak Mahindra Capital claim the No.2 & No.3 slotsAvendus has topped the Venture Intelligence League Table for Transaction Advisor to Private Equity Transactions in the first nine months of 2021. Avendus advised 33 PE deals worth $8.3 Billion during the period. Ernst & Young stood second having advised 20 deals worth $7 Billion. They were followed by Kotak Mahindra Capital with

Watch Apple’s ‘Unleashed’ event live right here

apple october event

Apple is set to announce new hardware today. The company is holding a (virtual) keynote at 10 AM PT (1 PM in New York, 6 PM in London, 7 PM in Paris). And you’ll be able to watch the event right here as the company is streaming it live.

Rumor has it that the company is set to announce some new Macs. Over the past year, Apple has updated its entry-level computers with new custom-designed M1 chips. And now, the company could bring its own chips to higher-end computers, such as a 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, a new Mac Mini and a 27-inch iMac.

Apple could use this opportunity to redesign its laptops from the ground up with new display technologies, a new array of ports and a new form factor in general. But that’s not all. Apple has also been working on an updated version of its entry-level AirPods.

You can watch the livestream directly on this page, as Apple is streaming its conference on YouTube.

If you have an Apple TV, you can open the TV app and look for the ‘Apple Special Event’ section. It lets you stream today’s event and rewatch old ones.

And if you don’t have an Apple TV and don’t want to use YouTube, the company also lets you livestream the event from the Apple Events section on its website. This video feed now works in all major browsers — Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

Source: Tech crunch

China Could Be Exploiting Internet Security Process to Steal Data, Cyber Experts Warn

Gaming keyboard-chinese hacking group

To access the data of unsuspecting users, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could take advantage of a universal authentication process that is believed to be secure but may not actually be, cybersecurity experts warned, although encryption is still the preferred method of protecting digital data and Protection of computers - in some cases, the same digital certificates used for internet authentication allow the Chinese regime to infiltrate and wreak havoc on various computer networks, they said. 

Digital certificates that verify the identity of a digital entity on the Internet. A digital certificate can be compared to a passport or driver's license, according to Andrew Jenkinson, CEO of cybersecurity company Cybersec Innovation Partners (CIP) and author of the book Stuxnet to Sunburst: 20 Years of Digital Exploitation and Cyber ​​Warfare. 

"Without it, the person or device you are using may not meet industry standards, and the encryption of critical data could be bypassed so that what should be encrypted remains in plain text," Jenkinson told The Epoch Times Used to Encrypt internal and external communications that prevent a hacker, for example, from intercepting and stealing data. But "fake certificates" or invalid certificates can tamper with any data. 

Sense of security, "said Jenkinson. Cybersecurity firm Global Cyber ​​Risk LLC said digital certificates are generally issued by trusted CAs and then the same level of trust is passed on to intermediaries However, there are opportunities for a communist entity, malicious actor, or other untrustworthy entity to issue certificates to other "hideous people" who appear trustworthy but are not, he said.

"If you issue a certificate from a trusted authority, you will trust it," said Duren. "But what the issuer could actually do is pass that trust on to someone who shouldn't be trusted. Duren said he would never trust." a Chinese certification authority for this reason, stating that it is aware of a number of companies that have banned Chinese certificates because they were issued to untrustworthy agencies. 

Jenkinson said that Chinese certification bodies make up a small portion of the overall industry and the certificates they issue are generally limited to Chinese companies and products.

prince a member of chinese hacking group
Prince, a member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance who declined to give his real name, uses his computer at their office in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China, on Aug. 4, 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images).

 In 2015, certificates from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the state agency overseeing domain name registration in China, were challenged. Mozilla revoked CNNIC certificates because it knew of unauthorized digital certificates associated with multiple domains. Both Internet companies opposed CNNIC delegating its authority to issue certificates to an Egyptian company that issued the unauthorized certificates. According to Jenkinson, CNNIC certificates were banned because they had "back doors". 

A back door means that [the Chinese certification body] could literally take administrative access and send data back to the mothership, ”he said. Since 2016, Mozilla, Google, Apple and Microsoft have also blocked the Chinese certification authorities WoSign and their subsidiary StartCom due to unacceptable security practices.Vulnerability Despite these bans on Chinese digital certificates in recent years, the CCP has not been deterred and has long-term gambling, Jenkinson said, referring to an alarming discovery by his cybersecurity firm two years ago that it was a multinational consulting firm. 

Digital certificates are typically valid for a few years depending on the certification authority, and a renewal is required to keep them valid and keep the data they are supposed to protect secure, he said. "But in 2019, CIP Chinese discovered certificates that had been valid for 999 years," Jenkinson said. His company made this discovery by researching the laptops of a leading global consulting firm. 

Jenkinson made the company aware of the vulnerability and offered, "They are either incredibly accommodating or complicit," he said, noting that the company's customers include government agencies.This multi-billion dollar company's failure to fix this problem means hundreds of thousands of people could be exposed to Chinese infiltration through the company's lax safeguards, Jenkinson said. The company engages its customers every time someone uses one of its laptops, he said. 

Companies or customers who use the company's services could be held for ransom, they have their intellectual advantages

What Katey Sagal Has Done Since Sons of Anarchy Ended

Katey Sagal played one of the most important characters in Sons of Anarchy, but what has she done since the show came to an end? In 2008, Kurt Sutter took the audience to a small town in California to meet a motorcycle club and all the drama in their daily lives in the TV series Sons of Anarchy. The series premiered on FX in 2008 and lived on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014. Sons of Anarchy got positive reviews throughout its whole run, with most praise going towards the themes it addressed (such as corruption and racism) and the performances of the main cast.

Sons of Anarchy tells the story of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, California. The series kicks off when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John “JT” Teller, one of the founding members of the MC. In it, JT shared his plans and vision for the club, which were very different from those of the current President and Jax’s stepfather, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman). Reading his father’s ideas and seeing how different the club was, among other events, send Jax on a personal journey that leads him to question his path, role in the club, relationships, family, and more. Sons of Anarchy also introduced the audience to Gemma Teller-Morrow (Katey Sagal), Jax’s mother and the matriarch of the club, who even though wasn’t a member of it, had a lot of influence in it and the town in general, but she was also a very dangerous woman.


Katey Sagal’s role as Gemma in Sons of Anarchy was one of the most praised elements of the series, and she was one of the few characters from the first season who made it to the final one, though not to the series finale, as she was killed by Jax in the second last episode. Gemma Teller has become one of Sagal’s most memorable roles, but it definitely isn’t her most famous one, as she has played a variety of characters before and after Sons of Anarchy. Prior to living in Charming, Sagal did a lot of voice work in film, such as in Recess: School’s Out (playing Mrs. Flo Spinelli) and the Futurama movies, voicing Turanga Leela. In TV, she became known for playing Peggy Bundy in the sitcom Married… with Children from 1987 to 1997, and other notable roles include Edna Hyde in That 70’s Show and Cate S. Hennessy in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

While working on Sons of Anarchy, Sagal continued doing voice work, most notably in Futurama, and once the show came to an end, she explored other genres in TV. Sagal played Annora of the Alders in The Bastard Executioner, Penny’s mother in one episode of The Big Bang Theory, and Lanie Schultz in This Is Us. Sagal reprised her role as Gemma in one episode of Mayans M.C, the spinoff series of Sons of Anarchy, and after that, she went on to play Dr. Ingrid Jones in Shameless, Louise Goldufski in The Conners, Teresa Williams in Grand Hotel, and Eleanor Hale in Dead to Me. Her most recent work is in the legal comedy-drama Rebel, inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich, and in which she plays the lead role of Annie “Rebel” Bello. On the big screen, she played Lee Ann in There’s Always Woodstock, Katherine Junk in Pitch Perfect 2, and Louise Pazienza in Bleed for This.

In addition to an incredible acting career that has covered almost every genre, Katey Sagal has a musical career and released her first solo album in 1994, and she also contributed with at least one song per season in Sons of Anarchy. Katey Sagal is a woman of many talents, and while many will always remember her as Gemma Teller-Morrow, it’s definitely worth checking out her other works in both film and TV.

How Bulletproof Is Pattinson’s Batsuit In The Batman?

Robert Pattinson’s Batman takes multiple bullets to the chest in the latest trailer for The Batman, indicating how bulletproof his version of the Batsuit is. Although he lacks superpowers, Batman fights crime in Gotham City with superlative fighting skills, a genius-level intellect, and state-of-the-art gadgetry. A common piece of equipment for live-action Batman adaptations is a Batsuit made of bulletproof material. Not all the Dark Knight's costumes have the same level of protection, so how does Pattinson’s suit compare to the others and the comic source material?

In his first comic book appearances, Batman wore no armor, using a simple, lightweight, and flexible costume with an intimidating appearance instead. One of the earliest uses of an armored Batsuit comes from the first standalone Batman book in 1940, in which the Caped Crusader survives a gunshot wound from The Joker thanks to a layer of armor underneath the main suit. Modern comic iterations of Batman wear fully armored Batsuits, offering significant protection against gunshots; partially inspired by the various film adaptations and their many shout-outs.


In the latest trailer for The Batman, Robert Pattinson’s Batsuit is put to the test multiple times. While fighting a gang of criminals in clown makeup, Batman is shot point-blank with a handgun, but he shrugs this off rather quickly and continues fighting. Later in the trailer, Batman walks towards a group of assault rifle-toting assailants, who pepper him with gunfire. Batman walks through the hail of bullets mostly unimpeded before counterattacking. This indicates that Pattinson’s Batman uses an extremely durable material that can withstand more gunfire than most versions of the Dark Knight.

While Adam West’s Batman wore no armor, Michael Keaton’s iteration in the Tim Burton films had a highly durable suit that could take direct gunshots. However, as shown multiple times in Batman and Batman Returns, while the suit kept gunfire from proving immediately lethal, the force often knocked Batman off his feet and left him winded on some occasions. Pattinson’s gear provides more protection, allowing him to remain in fighting condition even when shot numerous times.

Christian Bale’s first Batsuit in Batman Begins also offered protection from gunshots, though Lucious Fox explicitly advised against taking direct hits. While protective, the suit proved to be too restrictive, so Bale’s Bruce wore a modified` suit in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Bale’s second Batman suit offered far more flexibility, though it was even more vulnerable to gunfire, which Bruce learned firsthand when facing off against Two-Face.

The only live-action Batman iteration whose suit provided similar levels of protection to Pattinson’s is the DCEU Batman. As shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck's Batman wears a light and flexible suit that allows him to take gunshots to the head at point-blank range with little impediment. The suit has some vulnerable points, as evidenced by an assailant’s knife puncturing the suit near the shoulder, but this may have been a lightly-armored area for the sake of articulation. Ben Affleck’s Batman armor, like Pattinson’s Batsuit in The Batman, is fully bulletproof, protecting Batman from gun-toting enemies.