Verizon is finally ‘offloading its unprofitable’ blogging site Tumblr to WordPress owner Automattic Inc, the company announced on Monday.
Verizon had reportedly been looking for a buyer the past three months as part of ongoing restructuring of its media businesses which includes HuffPost, AOL, and TechCrunch, among others.
Verizon, formerly known as Oath Inc, first acquired Tumblr in 2017 after it purchased Yahoo. According to Axios, the parent company of publishing site WordPress, Automattic, has finalized the deal with Verizon, paying them less than $10 million for Tumblr – a ridiculous drop in value from the $1.1 billion Yahoo purchased it in 2013.
“Tumblr is a marquee brand that has started movements, allowed for true identities to blossom and become home to many creative communities and fandoms,” Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said in a statement. “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.”
As part of the purchase deal with Verizon, Automattic will take on 200 Tumblr employees. Tumblr currently has 475 million blogs on its service.
This deal marks the latest change of ownership for Tumblr, a blogging platform that once ranked among the web’s hottest properties. Launched in 2017 by David Karp, Tumblr quickly became popular among users, including various artists and writers, for its niche culture and easy-to-use services.
The Chief Executive Officer of Automaticc, Matt Mullenweg, issued a statement on Monday stating that Tumblr is iconic” brand known for helping people share ideas, culture and experiences.
But the paltry sale price clearly shows the extent which Tumblr has fallen from its heyday.
After three months of searching for a buyer, Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan described the Tumblr sale as the “culmination of a thoughtful, thorough and strategic process.”