WP Engine will absorb the Flywheel business and its more than 200 employees, integrating them into its operations, and allowing for more services surrounding its WordPress products.
Flywheel was founded in 2012 by Dusty Davidson, Tony Noecker and Rick Knudtson. Davidson, the CEO of Flywheel, is a Council Bluffs native and a graduate from Iowa State University.
Davidson says that while two companies have been competitors toeach other in many ways, they had always shared a respect and admiration for each other.
“We’ve known the folks at WP Engine for a long time,” said Davidson. “I’ve always had respect for the leadership at WP Engine. I think as one of the leaders in the space, they’re doing some really interesting things.”
WP Engine primarily focuses on mid-market and larger businesses, while Flywheel has largely focused on smaller businesses and agencies, making the two companies natural complements to each other.
Davidson says WP Engine reached out to Flywheel a few months back and the companies started talking seriously in May.
“It for us, kind of came out of the blue,” said Davidson. “We weren’t looking to sell. It just came about out of nowhere, but the more time we spent together, the more it made a ton of sense.”
Davidson says there will be no immediate changes to the Flywheel platform, plans or brand.
“Initially, everything is business as usual. Flywheel will continue to service our part of the market and WP Engine will continue to service its market and we’ll operate independently.”
Davidson says he looks forward to getting together and figuring out the best collective strengths between the two companies over the next few months.
“Over the course of the next two to three months, we’ll spend a lot of time together collaboratively deciding on what makes the most sense for the customers, for the communities and for our teams,” Davidson said.
Financial details surrounding the acquisition were not released. WP Engine claims the acquisition is “the largest acquisition to date in the WordPress industry.”