In a move that caught some people by surprise, WP Engine has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Managed WordPress host, Flywheel.
While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Heather Brunner, WP Engine’s CEO confirmed to TechCrunch that the company needed to raise a small round of funding to finance the deal.
Dusty Davidson, Tony Noecker, and Rick Knudtson founded Flywheel in 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2012, there were already a handful of players in the Managed WordPress Hosting space but Flywheel was able to carve out a niche by focusing on Designers and Agencies.
In 2016, Flywheel became one of the few hosting companies added to the WordPress.org recommended hosting page. However, their listing was removed a few months later without an explanation.
Also in 2016, Flywheel acquired Pressmatic, a local WordPress development application for OS X from Clay Griffiths and rebranded it to Local by Flywheel. Representatives from both companies have stated that there are no plans to merge WP Engine Devkit with Local by Flywheel.
According to a frequently asked questions document, nothing much is changing in the foreseeable future for Flywheel customers.
Business will continue as usual! There will be no immediate changes to the Flywheel platform, plans, or experience. We’ll be spending the coming weeks and months on strategic innovation and integration planning, and are super excited to figure out how we can leverage all of our collective strengths, products, and brand assets in the best possible way.
Flywheel has generated a loyal following of happy customers over the years and some of them took to Twitter to express their concerns regarding Monday’s announcement.
Seeing these types of responses from customers is a testament to the level of service Flywheel provides. Many of them explained why they chose to host their clients with Flywheel over WP Engine.
Both companies have vowed to keep customers in the loop of any potential changes to plans, services, or products. While each company will operate independently as things are sorted out, it will be interesting to see how the two companies are integrated over time and how customers respond.
If you’re a Flywheel customer, please let us know what you think about the acquisition in the comments below.
To learn more about the deal, check out the following links.