Morning Markets: Popular WordPress host WP Engine released some financial metrics this week, let’s take a look.
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WP Engine, now a year past its $250 million deal with Silver Lake, has reached $132 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR). According to WP Engine, the new revenue metric comes on the back of 20 percent customer growth over the past year.
The figures are eye-catching for a few reasons. First, it’s rare for private companies to share hard revenue figures as they are not required to do so. And, we have a few other data points regarding WP Engine that we can string in a line. Let’s examine, starting with the firm’s 2015 funding round:
- March 2015: WP Engine raises a $23 million Series C, valuing the firm at $120 million, pre-money. (Crunchbase, WSJ).
- Late 2017: WP Engine crosses the $100 million ARR mark. (A Smart Bear)
- January 2018: WP Engine sees $250 million Silver Lake transaction, buying out at leat some extant shareholders and providing primary capital for its own use. (A Smart Bear, Crunchbase)
- January 2019: WP Engine crosses the $132 million ARR mark. (WP Engine)
There’s some market quibbling about what to call WP Engine’s $250 million funding event. Given that one of the firm’s co-founders notes that “[t]he majority of the funds pay back our early investors who believed in us enough to trust us with their money,” it could be called an exit. Or partial-exit. What matters, of course, is what valuation was used when the new monies came in.
We don’t know what the firm was worth at that time, or what it’s worth now. But as a data point, venture capitalist and burgeoning conference magnate Jason Lemkin calls the firm a unicorn. When it reached that valuation mark isn’t clear.
So, what can we tell from all the above? That WP Engine grew its ARR around 30 percent in 2018, depending on how “late” the $100 million ARR mark occurred in 2017; the later the metric was reached, the better its trailing growth rate is.
All told, it’s an interesting set of figures from a firm that I covered at launch back in 2010. It’s all grown up!
Top Image Credit: Li-Anne Dias.
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