Automattic buy puts Sligo start-up in ‘poll position’

23 Oct 2008

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A hot young tech firm from Sligo on Ireland’s west coast, that allows websites to perform polls, has been snapped up by WordPress’s parent company, Automattic.

PollDaddy.com provides a web poll service to individuals and to businesses. Over 350,000 people worldwide use the company’s software.

WordPress is an open source blog publishing tool used by more than four million bloggers.

It is understood Automattic is not disclosing how much it paid for PollDaddy. The strategic rationale behind the deal is clear – the ability to provide high-performance polls is an extra tool in the blogger’s content armoury.

“Around 96pc of our users use free accounts,” said David Lenehan, CEO of PollDaddy.

The company’s client list is a veritable who’s who of the media and technology space, including RTÉ, Fox News, Wired and PC World.

In an interview back in April, Lenehan discussed the company’s monetisation strategy at the time.

“Our professional accounts with SMEs and big business take in enough money to keep us moving. In the long term, we intend to keep it going as a free service for individuals. We’re looking at new ways to bring in revenue, but want a different route than using advertising.”

Lenehan’s approach is synonymous with the DIY ethic driving many software start-ups. “We don’t have any salespeople. We just built an application people wanted and they came to us in their droves,” he observed.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: David Lenehan and Eoin Gallagher of PollDaddy.com

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com