Wix buys Israeli mobile platform start-up Appixia

Wix buys Israeli mobile platform start-up Appixia

Thanks to the acquisition, the popular web authoring system will now offer app authoring as well

Appixia CEO Yigael Berger makes a presentation at Microsoft Ventures Accelerator's Demo Day in November 2013 (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Appixia CEO Yigael Berger makes a presentation at Microsoft Ventures Accelerator's Demo Day in November 2013 (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Israeli web authoring platform, Wix.com, is expanding its mobile platform – and on Thursday, Wix announced it was acquiring another Israeli start-up, Tel Aviv-based Appixia, which has developed a no-coding authoring platform for mobile devices. The acquisition was Wix’s first big move since going public last November.

Terms of the deal were not announced, although an industry figure who claimed knowledge of the deal said that Appixia was acquired for around $10 million.

“Appixia is the perfect addition to the Wix platform. It truly embraces our mission of bringing the most function-rich and innovative technological solutions to users, regardless of their technical ability or budget,” said Avishai Avrahami, Wix’s CEO, Co-Founder and Chairman. “Native mobile apps are a huge part of managing and promoting a business online. Expanding the range of mobile solutions we provide our customers with is a strategic focus for Wix, and by integrating Appixia’s technology we can more quickly boost and further diversify our mobile offering.”

Appixia is geared towards online retailers who want to easily convert their sites into a format compatible with mobile devices. The process of building a mobile app using Appixia is similar to the experience of building a web site with Wix. Both supply drag and drop tools, dialog boxes, installable code snippets, etc. to enable inexperienced users to build sites, along with more sophisticated tools for more experienced users. Apps developed with Appixia can take advantage of smartphone features like push notifications, barcode scanning, location-based services (GPS), credit card scanning and others.

“We were in the midst of our first funding round when the Wix opportunity came up, and we immediately saw the natural fit,” said Yigael Berger, CEO and Co-Founder of Appixia. “Wix is a household name, and the idea that the technology we built can serve over 42 million users is thrilling. It’s a huge opportunity that will let us fast-track our dream and expand our offering in new and exciting directions.”

Last October, Wix launched its own mobile adaptive solution, allowing users of the platform to convert their Wix web sites to a mobile format. According to Wix, users are creating over 30,000 new mobile sites every day, making it one of the fastest growing mobile site builders in the world. Appixia’s technology, said Wix, will allow platform users to build native apps easily as well.

The Wix team toasts its IPO on the Nasdaq trading floor (Photo credit: Courtesy Wix)
The Wix team toasts its IPO on the Nasdaq trading floor (Photo credit: Courtesy Wix)

Wix went public last November, raising $127 million in its NASDAQ debut, better than the $119 million the company expected to raise. On its first trading day on November 6, 2013, Wix closed at $16.31. On Thursday, as news of the Appixia acquisition was announced, Wix’s opening bid was $27.35.

Appixia was established just last year, and is a recent graduate of the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Program. “They have great technology and are an amazing team,” said Hanan Lavy, director of the program, aimed at early-stage start-ups. Microsoft provides office space, training, mentoring, and other benefits. Among the benefits are inclusion of participating start-ups in the Microsoft BizSpark program, which provides free software and development tools for start-ups.

“Yigael Berger and Tal Kol, who co-founded the company, have been working together for 13 years,” said Lavy. “They came into a challenging and competitive market and managed to crack it. And Wix, an Israeli start-up, has the right DNA for Appixia. Both are start-ups, and both have innovative technologies that are home-grown.” Appixia was part of the third Microsoft Accelerator group, and graduates have had an excellent track record in raising money – with the average company raising close to a million dollars in first round financing. But Appixia is the program’s first exit, said Lavy, “and of course we are very proud.”

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