London-based New Vector, developers of the decentralised Matrix communication protocol, has welcomed US-based Automattic as a strategic investor.

Automattic, the parent company of web publishing and ecommerce platforms – WordPress hosting UK – WooCommerce, Jetpack, and enterprise WordPress VIP, is investing $4.6m (£3.7m) in New Vector, extending $8.5m raised in Q4 2019 from Notion Capital, firstminute capital and Dawn Capital.

The latest round takes New Vector’s funding to a total of $18.1m. Automattic Inc. New Vector develops Riot, the Matrix-based messaging app, and Modular, the Matrix-based hosting platform.

New Vector also provides development to the Matrix open source project; an open network for decentralised communication which lets organisations and individuals run their own collaboration apps.

“We’re incredibly pleased to have Automattic on board. It is one of the most successful and well regarded open source companies in the world,” said Matthew Hodgson, CEO/CTO, New Vector.

“We’re completely aligned in our love for the open web, open source and open standards. We share the same philosophy of transparency and data ownership.”

Matrix has around 15.8 million users, and a strong installed base within governments, the largest deployment being the French government where it serves the country’s 5.5M civil servants. It is also used by Mozilla, which runs all public communication via Riot.