Wix - Succeeding, One Website at a Time!
In the tech-driven world as we know it, business meetings are moving online, and boom, everything's faster and more effective! It's mostly due to this business-done-online craze that we now dare proclaim having your own website essential. After all, we are living in the 21st century, and that means businesses and online presence do go hand in hand.
Let's face it, everybody you know has found their way around the internet. To arouse your senses even further, there are currently over 4.33 billion active internet users throughout the world, making for a total of at least 4.33 billion possible clicks on your website, post, shared thought, blog, you name it.
And yet, creating your own website from scratch is no easy task. You need a domain, a developer, and a designer. It's difficult and by no means cheap.
These are all challenges an Israeli and tech-savvy trio had to overcome back in 2006. Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami, and Giora Kaplan came to an idea so brilliant, the world is still in awe of its genius.
This is the story of Wix, the easiest, fastest, most diverse, do-it-yourself website builder on the planet, and the three brains behind it:
The story of Wix can be traced back to 1993. It was the year when Avishai Abrahami finished his two years tenure with the Israeli Defense Forces operating in computer intelligence, and founded ALT Ltd as soon as he did his service. He was CEO for four years until he sold it in 1997.
But Avishai would not be stopped or satisfied so easily. His high work rate and constant flow of original ideas showed that he was meant to create or develop something that will have a significant impact in the world of technology. This was again the case in 1998 when he was among the co-founders of Sphera Corporation, a company that dealt with data center management and software development.
Long story short, he was moving through the positions of this firm, being both a Chief Technology Officer and a Vice President of Marketing for the next couple of years.
Leaving it because of some internal disagreements, in 2006 Abrahami was on the look for the next big thing. Most of us would stop right there after a couple of entrepreneurial stories go from a success to a failure in a blink of a second. But Avishai never shies away from a challenge and always prefers to cooperate with smart people who can see further than what there appears to be.
He said: "when you create an environment that promotes innovation and creativity, you have the ability to truly disrupt an industry," and boy, did Wix disrupt it.
Before co-founding Wix, Nadav Abrahami, Avishai's brother, had more than 10 years of experience as a senior programmer, software designer, and game developer in several tech companies including Oberon Media and ECB (Eric Cohen Books).
His biggest success prior to the foundation of Wix was developing consumer-facing software products including an adaptive framework for education titles for ECB, which sold over 1 million copies.
Kaplan is an innovative web publisher, possibly one of the best you can ever come across. His vision? To implement cutting-edge technology in a simple way that will enable everyone to easily create a professional and striking web presence.
Being involved in web publishing since the early 90s, the experience he had amassed would prove vital to Wix.
The Wix Idea
It's the year 2006, and three friends were having fun on a beach in Tel Aviv, discussing a business idea they previously had. They complain to each other while conversing, how difficult it is to obtain a web domain, and creating or designing it afterward. It is also expensive.
This is where the three Israeli tech geeks have a huge lightbulb moment. What if they create a web page that will help consumers do this very thing?
This is the question that sparks a fire burning to this very day. The shiny flames of Wix.
Early Days of Wix
The idea Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami, and Giora Kaplan had was very hard to turn into reality. They envisioned a platform that will simplify web creation and would empower anyone to create their own website without any coding or design skills.
It would enable customers to create their own mobile or HTML5 websites using just drag-and-drop tools. Users can use the platform to engage in online marketing, add plug-ins, create a website for their business, and then market it - the whole package! The company would function on a freemium model, and the idea was that a lot of revenue would be generated through premium subscriptions taken by people.
After some investments in the firm made by venture capitalists such as Insight Venture Partners, Mangrove Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Benchmark Capital, the founders opened a small office in Tel Aviv and launched their first project in 2007 via an open beta mode on Adobe Flash.
This was a staggering success since the product was extremely simple to use and a huge number of options had been made available for the customers.
By 2010, the company had amassed 3.5 million users, but this was only the beginning of the outstanding results it was yet to produce.
Investments and Diversification
The Series C funding was pushed by the same investors in 2011. It meant that the founders were covered financially and had free hands to do as they please. A new round of software development was underway, which led to the company's user base doubling in size, to more than 8.5 million registered users in 2011.
By 2012, close to 60 million dollars were poured into the company Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami, and Giora Kaplan founded just 6 years prior. Was this it? Of course not - it was just the start!
Soon after, Wix launched a Facebook module and entered the social media realm. They also did away from their old Adobe Flash platform by creating a new HTML5 site builder.
Nothing could stop the growth of the product now and in 2013 there were over 34 million registered and active users.
This paved the way for going public in 2014 and raised $127 million. This meant the launching of Wix Hotels followed by Wix Restaurants the following year. Wix Music was also launched in 2015 - helping artists sell their work. All of these various ways of investment and development point out the importance of constantly generating new ideas so that the primary one is always upgraded. That's how you successfully run a business, by reinventing it and expanding on an idea, and adapting it to the needs of your clientele.
Wix Ad Strategy
Wix is notorious for its marketing strategy. They have teamed up with DreamWorks Animation several times creating well-known Super Bowl advertisements. Their ads were so popular, it is estimated they have been viewed around 300 million times both on TV and social media.
Wix market value was estimated at $4 Billion in 2018. Today, it is believed to be at $16 billion, making it the biggest company to come out of Israel. 4000 employers with offices around the world, including San Francisco, Vilnius, Berlin, Dublin, Tokyo and New Delhi. With over 180 million users across 190 countries around the world, Wix is a story that highlights passion, determination, compromise, and cooperation.
And it all started from an idea three friends discussed, once upon a beach. It just gets to show you how anything and everything is possible, no matter how crazy or unrealistic it seems at first!