Web creator Wix revenue jumps to almost $1 billion as virus sends firms online

Tel Aviv-based company posts 2020 revenue of $989 million in ‘phenomenal year’; net loss for year widens to $216 million vs net loss of $86 million in 2019 as costs jump

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Wix co-founders (L. to R.): Giora Kaplan, Nadav Abrahami and Avishai Abrahami (Courtesy)
Wix co-founders (L. to R.): Giora Kaplan, Nadav Abrahami and Avishai Abrahami (Courtesy)

Wix.com, an Israeli firm that helps small businesses build and operate websites, said Wednesday that it had posted a “phenomenal year,” with 2020 revenue jumping 30 percent as enterprises turned online to survive amid the coronavirus pandemic social distancing restrictions.

The Tel Aviv-based company said that revenue for the full year came in at $989 million. Fourth-quarter revenue was $283 million, up 38% year on year, the company said. Losses widened, however, as research and development costs and other expenses rose.

The net loss for full year 2020 was $217 million compared to a net loss of $86 million in 2019. For the quarter, the net loss came in at some $63 million, compared to a net loss of $22 million for the fourth quarter of 2019.

“We have concluded the most successful year in our company’s history. In 2020, over 31 million new registered users joined Wix, we added nearly 1 million net new subscriptions, and we crossed $1 billion of annual collections for the first time. It was truly humbling to help lift millions of businesses through an extremely challenging year,” said Avishai Abrahami, co-founder and CEO of Wix.

He added that Wix can become a “dominant player” on the internet, “democratizing access and providing a place where the majority of people will build their web presence. My goal and belief is that at this rate of growth, in the next 5-7 years, 50% of anything new built on the internet will be done on Wix.”

The company, which was set up in 2006 and held an initial public offering of shares on the Nasdaq in 2013, forecast revenues for 2021 to come in at $1,272 million-$1,286 million, a 29%-30% rise on the previous year.

The firm said it added 185,000 net premium subscriptions in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 107% increase year on year, to reach 5.5 million as of December 31, 2020, a 22% increase over the total number of premium subscriptions at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019.

The company added 7.4 million registered users in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 27% increase year on year. Registered users as of December 31, 2020 were 196.7 million, representing a 19% increase compared to the end of the fourth quarter of 2019.

Wix’s market value on the Nasdaq is around $15.5 billion.

The Israeli economy shrank by 2.4 percent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed, the first contraction since 2002, and the worst on record. The data is nonetheless better than expected, with economic officials having predicted a contraction of at least 3.3%-4.6%. The data was far better than the 5.5% average contraction in OECD countries last year, as the nation’s tech industry kept the economy chugging even as the pandemic struck other sectors.

The Israeli tech sector plays a pivotal role in the nation’s economy, accounting for almost 15% the nation’s GDP, according to the Israel Innovation Authority.

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