Developed by Varien Inc. in 2008, Magento is from Culver City, California, where the company was originally headquartered. Since its acquisition by Adobe, Magento is currently headquartered in San Jose, California and has an international office in Dublin, Ireland.
The history of Magento is fascinating. What started as a side project for a group of developers has become one of the leading global ecommerce platforms preferred by industry leaders such as Nestlé and The Coca-Cola Company.
History of Magento
During his time at UCLA as a student, Roy Rubin started Varien Inc., a web development company, to make some extra money on the side and fund his student lifestyle. Initially, the company didn’t have a specific vision or area of expertise and offered multiple services, including ecommerce, content management systems, and custom web application development.
Around 2003, Rubin came across osCommerce, the leading open-source ecommerce platform of the time that had a large user base but was lacking sophisticated service providers. Choosing to work with osCommerce was one of the most significant breakthroughs of his life that eventually led to the development of Magento as we know it today.
Yoav Kutner joined Rubin in 2004, and soon after that, Varien Inc. became one of the biggest osCommerce development companies in the US. As the company grew, they realized that being a purely community-based project, osCommerce lacked proper leadership or a development roadmap.
They forked and maintained a version of the osCommerce’s code for their customers; however, they weren’t happy with its limitations. After searching for suitable alternatives to osCommerce, in January 2007, Kutner and Rubin decided to develop a new platform using their team of developers.
The initial plan was to develop a platform for their customers and projects only. However, soon after development began, they decided to release it as an open-source project. On August 31st, 2007, they launched the first beta version of the platform to the public and on March 31st, 2008, they launched the first stable release of the platform.
Soon after its launch, Magento’s popularity grew rapidly. By April 2009, Magento had already overtaken its primary competitor, osCommerce, to become the top open-source ecommerce platform on the market. As its popularity continued to rise, they decided to change the company name from Varien to Magento as the latter was more popular and better known.
Noticing the rapid growth and widespread adoption of Magento, in February 2011, eBay decided to purchase a 49% stake in the company and acquire it entirely in June 2011. Post-acquisition, eBay chose to integrate its payment system PayPal into the platform to leverage Magento’s massive user base while providing its users convenient access to their payment system.
After PayPal split from eBay in 2015, European private equity firms Sterling Partners and Permira Funds, acquired Magento as part of an acquisition of the eBay Enterprise consisting of four divisions — Magento Commerce Technologies, eBay Marketing Solutions, Enterprise Services, and Operations.
Although the development of Magento 2 had begun under eBay’s ownership in 2011, it was only released in November 2015 after the acquisition by Permira Funds. What started as a refactoring effort to address some of the existing performance and backward compatibility issues in the platform had turned into a complete rewrite of the platform to implement a custom framework.
Within three years of acquiring Magento for an estimated $200 million, Permira Funds sold it to Adobe Inc, its current owner, for approximately $1.68 billion. Under Adobe’s ownership, Magento has seen tremendous growth and the introduction of some industry-leading functionality for the platform’s users.
Through the Product Recommendations module, Adobe has allowed Magento Commerce users to access their proprietary AI-based technology — Adobe Sensei, to deliver tailored product recommendations on their stores.
The popularity of Magento soared over the years. Google Trends demonstrated that the term “Magento” was searched more often than others like “oscommerce”, “woocommerce”, “shopify”, and even “ecommerce” itself.
Magento has dominated the ecommerce industry as the platform of choice for the better part of a decade and continues to power many leading businesses worldwide. Although headquartered in the United States, it is supported by a diverse community of over 300,000 developers distributed across the globe.
In the history of Magento, its online community has grown to comprise hundreds of thousands of highly knowledgeable and helpful users spread across popular forums such as GitHub, Stack Exchange, and Reddit. No matter your proficiency with the platform, you can be sure that you will always receive timely and insightful advice and assistance from its community.