Shalom Life | May 31, 2014

Startup Club: Wix

Shalom Life chats with Wix's Omer Shai on their success, having 36.5 million users across 190 countries, and on being the first Israeli company to file for an IPO this year

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 24th, 2013 in Business » World

Over the past few decades, a growing number of small businesses involved in various industries have popped up around the world meeting the needs of an ever-growing, ever-changing market.

Jewish businessmen and innovators continue to excel throughout these industries, displaying their prowess as creative, forward-thinking entrepreneurs, and tapping into continuously developing markets with 'startup' companies. In a bid to recognize these decorated entrepreneurs for their ongoing contributions and advancements to these fields, Shalom Life is pleased to announce its newest weekly feature: Startup Club.

Startup Club will highlight the best and the brightest of Jewish entrepreneurs who continue to provide our community with new, influential and innovative ideas that will forever change the way we interact with the world, and with one another.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, in our mission to celebrate the most visionary of Jewish entrepreneurs.

Business: Wix

Based Out Of: Tel Aviv, Israel (with offices in New York and San Francisco)

Entrepreneur(s): Avishai Abrahami, Giora Kaplan, Nadav Abrahami

Industry: Web Development/Design Platform


By 2006, the Internet was at the forefront of culture and society, and new methods to access its enormous potential were in continuous development. Major players like Microsoft, Google, and Apple were around - though not nearly with the presence they currently occupy, Tumblr had not yet existed, and while web development sites like Blogger and Wordpress were available, you really wouldn't be able to optimize those platforms without possessing the fundamentals of HTML.

At the same time, an experienced web developer and technology entrepreneur, Avishai Abrahmi, was working for a startup web development company. This experience taught him how difficult it was for people without tech experience to navigate HTML, coding and in turn website design, deployment and maintenance. This prompted him to come up with an idea of building beautiful, easy-to-use websites. After consulting his brother Nadav, a experienced programmer and designer, and his web publisher friend Gig Kaplan, both of whom shared his sentiments, the three teamed up to co-found a new company: Wix.

'The Way The Web Was Meant To Be'

Wix's powerful technology makes it simple for anyone and everyone to go online and create a website that is professional, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. The site's possibilities are endless, there is no wretched coding to go through, just the 'complete freedom to express yourself and manage your entire business online.'

Since starting off as a company of three, Wix has escalated to the top of their industry, currently one of the leading web developers on the market. With over 440 employees, and over 1.2 million fans on Facebook, Wix provides a cloud-based web development platform to over 36.5 million users across 190 countries. More than 1.3 million new websites are built every month using the Wix editor.

Wix offers hundreds of designer made templates, top-notch hosting, innovative apps, and tons of free features.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Wix had filed for an IPO, making them the first Israeli company to seek to go public this year.

Wix is the latest Israeli startup to succeed in the States, notably after acquisitions of Waze and Sodastream earlier this year. Shalom Life had a chance to chat with Omer Shai, Wix's Chief Marketing Officer, on their success, what's next, and how they've contributed to the moniker 'Startup Nation'.

'Not just a website builder'

"I think the real difference between Israeli startups compared to other areas in the world, from what I've heard, is that Israel is like one big community," Shai explains. "We are a small country, and we all know each other; we all know other investors in different companies and it is easy to make friends with people in the industry who mentor you and help you network. We know so many people involved with so many startups, and they've all been happy to help us spread our brand."

(Omer Shai, Chief Marketing Officer, Wix)

Wix, though based in Tel Aviv, has housed employees at their San Francisco and New York offices for the last two to three years. They also have a call center in New York called the Wix Lounge that provides free wifi, free workshops, and offers weekly educational classes in an effort to reach out and educate users and the general community on web branding.

They also have a team of developers and designers based in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and even a representative in Brazil.

"We're in a position where we can educate our users in our community and beyond on how to manage their businesses and promote them, not only online, but offline as well," Shai says.

He continues. "We're also promoting Wix not just as a website builder, but as a legitimate place where you can host your business. Our platform continues to offer unique and interesting features to keep our clients satisfied."

Wix, 'dedicated to providing you with the best, most reliable hosting, 100% FREE,' currently runs on a business model that allows users to register for free and create unlimited websites for free, but also offers valuable upgrades for those interested.

(Wix Editor)

The company moved to HTML 5 early last year, and shortly thereafter opened the platform to 3rd party developers through it's Wix App Market. Shai believes that, as long as they keep their users happy and engaged, Wix will continue to rise as industry leader.

"We have amazing products, and our goal as a company is to introduce our products to the best companies out there, keeping our users happy with the site," says Shai. "We strive to be the most robust free solution that users can be happy with. I believe our success is as a result of our great product, service, and high-level execution."

To create your own original website that reflects your brand, check out Wix here. According to their website, whether you're a photographer, musician, small business owner, entrepreneur, bride or student, they provide all the tools and features you need to build an amazing online presence for free.

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