Elementor Raises $15 Million, Plans to Invest in the Team, Product, and Community

Screenshot of the Elementor page builder in action.

Elementor, which has quickly become one of the leading WordPress page builders and companies, announced Wednesday it raised $15 million in its first round of funding, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. The investment round comes on the heels of the plugin surpassing four million active installations.

Founded in 2016, Yoni Luksenberg and Ariel Klikstein wanted to create a platform for web creators to drag and drop elements on a page to quickly build sites to their specifications. It took two years for the plugin to gather its first million users. Since then, the user base has continued to rapidly grow, adding an extra million users at an average rate of six months.

In the past 12 months, the plugin has deployed over 300 new features. It is also currently translated into 55 languages, an effort driven by its massive community.

“Elementor’s growth is a wonderful example of the power of community and open-source software,” said Tal Morgenstern, Partner at Lightspeed. “The founders set out to solve their own problems as web professionals and ended up with a global, highly-involved fan base that kept pushing and shaping the product from the very onset. Every single metric we looked at indicated an exceptionally strong market fit and we’re extremely happy to partner with this team for the next chapter of their journey.”

The next question is how the Elementor team will utilize this funding to grow their platform.

Growing the Elementor Team and Platform

Photograph of the Elementor team.

Elementor currently has 130 employees, called “Elementorists,” who are spread across 16 countries. The company plans to use some of its funding to grow its team by 50%. It may not be long before they are pushing the 200-employee mark.

The company will also use the funding to push the expansion of its global community. The team already has 500 meetups planned around the world in 2020.

“We plan to utilize the funding to improve all aspects of the product and community,” said Luksenberg. “That means further strengthening the infrastructure of our platform, developing more innovative features, investing in more community-enhancing efforts like WordCamp sponsorships and meetups, and building more integrations with WordPress and with other plugins. Basically, this allows us to continue with all the efforts already in progress but at a faster pace and at a larger scale.”

The Elementor team is set to push out new features and products at a much faster pace than before with the funding in place. Luksenberg was tight-lipped on the details. “We don’t want to ruin the surprise by revealing the features too soon,” he said. However, he promises that the company plans to set new web design and marketing standards while reducing “friction points” for web creators using Elementor.

One major question is where Elementor stands in terms of the block editor (Gutenberg). In one sense, they are competitors. However, the team also created the Elementor Blocks for Gutenberg plugin. While it only has 8,000 active installs, a drop in the bucket in comparison to their primary plugin, Luksenberg said the team has received positive feedback from users.

“We are constantly testing out new integrations with the goal of improving compatibility with Gutenberg,” said Luksenberg. “We believe in democratizing the editor so different WordPress users and different personas will have their editor of choice. This way, they can pick the editor that best fits their unique needs and preferences. This is the beauty of open source. There are endless ways to build a contact form: Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, Jetpack Forms. Similarly, there are endless ways to build and design a web page. The users should have the option to choose their preferred method.”

Despite a couple of rumors floating around, the team has no plans to build a platform that is independent of core WordPress. The team’s work will be deeply entrenched into WordPress.

However, they are currently considering offering a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution around the Elementor platform. It is unclear what such a SaaS product will look like if it happens, but it could be a natural evolution of their business growth. It will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on and see where they take it. “As a growing company, now with funding, it’s important to keep our options open,” said Luksenberg.

Luksenberg hopes to see other companies in the WordPress ecosystem complete similar funding rounds and feels honored for his company to be in a position to lead the way. “It’s one small step for Elementor, one giant leap for the WordPress community,” he said.

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28 responses to “Elementor Raises $15 Million, Plans to Invest in the Team, Product, and Community”

  1. Tony Zeoli says:

    This is all great stuff or the Elementor founders and team. What really frustrates me is the serious lack of diversity in the company photo you included in this post.

    In this day and age, the word “abhorrent” may be very strong, yet a suitable descriptor for a company that takes a corporate photo like this one. Not a single obvious person of color (there may be some, but hard to tell) in that photo. Maybe “pathetic” is a better word?

    How are they supposed to serve all users of their software if (what looks like from the photo) 99% of their team are white? They should look to their user base and recruit a diverse set of talented people who represent all users and not just “white” ones. It just leaves me astounded that we’re in the year 2020 and a corporate photo for a WordPress project is seemingly all white folk.

    I know some folks might get mad at me for this comment. I’m truly glad that they raised $15m. It validates the WordPress business model and that is a good thing. But we have to admit the optics of a photo like this one are pretty bad for the WordPress community.

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    • Tomas M. says:

      These days (look like the end days to me…), having a team from 16 countries is not divers enough. I looked at gender of team members, didn’t count, but I would say, it’s slightly leaning to female majority… Not good. Team should be 50%-50%, otherwise we will be talking about oppression… We don’t want white female oppression, right? Of course, my comment is just a joke, a reaction to the world that lost a common sense :(

      P.S. It’s good, that nobody in the photo had MAGA hat on… then company would have to stand before the jury of social justice warriors.

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    • Marcel Pol says:

      You look at the optics and pictures, I look at the names, and I see a lot of diversity.

      Why have this discussion in WordPress land? Can we just avoid all this inclusive and politically correct nonsense?

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      • Tony Zeoli says:

        @marcel Please read this post: https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/17/the-future-of-diversity-and-inclusion-in-tech/

        Diversity in tech is important. When we only hire people who look like us, we are locking others out of the opportunity that we enjoy. it’s not what you call “politically correct,” and it certainly is “white privilege” to ignore it when some of the world’s most influential minds are thinking about this subject.

        If you had children who were born of color and those children kept seeing photos like this one, those children might be discouraged to apply for these roles, because they would see no one like them on the team. It’s sad that it’s not obvious to you, but it’s obvious to me and to others, which is why there is a discussion about diversity and inclusion in the workforce. We want people from diverse backgrounds to contribute to the conversation and if we ignore the issue, then we don’t learn from their experiences and grow as a society. We keep people out and we keep them from earning and realizing investment in the same things we (predominantly white tech workers) benefit from.

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    • Claudia Georgi says:

      Providing good and working code is all that matters.

      Why that code would be any better or worse with different names or number of people on photos goes far beyond any imagination.

      @Tony Not sure if troll…

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    • t says:

      Well their company is based in Israel and not in the US so one would assume the population diversity there is different than the one we know in the US

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      • Tony Zeoli says:

        There are supposedly 16 countries represented and not a single obvious person of color in the photo. Yet, I’m sure across the globe there are many users of color who are underrepresented and do not exist on the Elementor team. I think if you look at it this way, you might consider the implications of exclusion in hiring practices. You mean to tell me its okay Elementor can’t find a single person across 16-countries and over 100 employees that represent a diverse voice outside of the faces in that photo and other than the obvious male/female split? I say they haven’t tried hard enough, just by looking at that photo.

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    • Amy Webster says:

      I’m a bit confused by this post. If Elementor was based in New Delhi, probably EVERYONE in the HQ photo would be Indian. Would that be a problem?

      In this case, the company is based in the Tel Aviv area. I can see in that photo people who are probably of North African origin, and people who are maybe from other Arabic-speaking countries, and people of European origin.

      Less than 2% of Israel’s citizens are from central or southern Africa, and almost none are from south or south-east Asia. Is that Elementor’s fault? Or is perhaps your North American idea of what diversity looks like not applicable in every country or population?

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      • Marius M.W. says:

        Besides a few triggered snowflakes nobody seems to care about those North American ideas of “forced” diversity anyway.

        People want working software or services or products.

        It does not matter if that software/service/product was created by a team of only totally fat white male burger eating men who admire Stalin in his early years in their sparetime or by a team of red and blue hair pierced tatoo in face gay and lesbian african natives who wear MAGA caps and watch manga movies during their vegan lunchbreak.

        Code is poetry, the poem is what counts, not the poet.

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      • Tony Zeoli says:

        @marius, I’d like to think that some of the people who use software have a seat at the table making the software. If everyone comes from a similar background, it stands to reason that groupthink and the social customs of that collective group will make decisions based on their shared experiences, which leaves out other voices who can contribute to the conversation around software development and tech. When we hire a majority of people who look like us, we are telling those who don’t their opinions and ideas don’t matter – that we know what’s best for them, even when we obviously don’t. And, we make it that much more difficult for people of color to enter the tech workforce and attain the level of success that a majority of white men, especially at Google, attain.

        Read this article from TechCrunch about diversity in tech: https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/17/the-future-of-diversity-and-inclusion-in-tech/

        Maybe it will help you see my point.

        I just don’t agree that it’s only the software that matters. It’s those who contribute to the software that matter, or you wouldn’t have the software in the first place.

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    • I’ve played things pretty loose in regards to our comment policy with this thread because, despite some inflammatory words, there have been some good points. I would rather not stifle good discussion. With that said, let us all dial back the rhetoric (e.g., “pathetic,” “triggered snowflakes,” etc.) a bit.

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      • Tony Zeoli says:

        Thanks for keeping this on track, Justin. I apologize for using the word “pathetic.” However, a better word may be “alarming” about a company that just raised $15M, has employees in 16 countries, and serves a global user base. Yet, it doesn’t have a single obvious person of color on its team.

        We are all culpable in some way if we don’t work to be inclusive and diverse in our hiring practices. We lock out those who can teach us something from unique perspectives we will never be able to see if we don’t try. And, when I say “we,” I mean the majority white male tech founders and CEOs who benefit from investment in our brands and businesses.

        When I founded my first startup, all my employees were women and two of them were women of color. When I worked at another startup, I led a team that had two people of Hispanic descent, as it was important in my role to cover music generated by Hispanic artists. I looked for people who could understand and relate to the music being covered and didn’t hire people who had limited exposure to the cultural nuances of those genres. I was in a position to hire people who looked like me, but my overall background helped me see the value of finding talented people who had experience in the culture, which made for a better product, all around.

        While this topic is uncomfortable and we can see some in this thread who seemingly could care less and think it’s just about the software, I care, which is why I brought it up in the first place. It’s important to keep the conversation going, but I agree that harmful rhetoric is not the solution.

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    • DM says:

      Hire based on person’s skills, not the color of their skin or the genitals between their legs. When you do this you degrade them as if they weren’t worthy in the first place.

      Congrats Team Elementor.
      You keep doing you!

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  2. AJ says:

    Crazy thought…perhaps conspiracy/hypothetical thoughts…could Elementor eventually become a major competitor to WordPress as WP pursues their goals. Could they literally become a fully functional CMS built around Elementor, eventually dropping WP support as they build user support behind the scenes? lol…hmmm…

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    • Based on my discussion with them, that’s not something that is remotely on the radar. They are “all in” with WordPress.

      With that said, you never know what direction development will take things. A dev team could look at something and say, “Hey, we could really build features X, Y, and Z independently of WordPress.” Then, you start exploring options. Even Gutenberg is its own separate thing that can be run on top of other platforms. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that a page builder could go that direction in the future.

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  3. Anto says:

    I’m happy that WordPress is getting more external investment, but I find it hard to imagine how Elementor has a long-term future in WordPress with their thinking.

    Sure, it has a place now, and will for at least a few more years, but as Gutenberg matures why would anyone want the added bloat? Once you abstract the window dressing, all page builders (including Gutenberg) are fairly similar. The remaining differences are a matter of workflow and taste because moving blocks/sections around isn’t unique.

    Elementor seems particularly doomed when the Elementor CEO says nonsensical things like this:

    “We are constantly testing out new integrations with the goal of improving compatibility with Gutenberg,” said Luksenberg. “We believe in democratizing the editor so different WordPress users and different personas will have their editor of choice. This way, they can pick the editor that best fits their unique needs and preferences. This is the beauty of open source. There are endless ways to build a contact form: Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, Jetpack Forms. Similarly, there are endless ways to build and design a web page.”

    He compares the editor to Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms and Jetpack Forms, which makes no sense. Gutenberg, the editor, is in WordPress core, meaning 100% of sites will have it. There are no forms that are part of WordPress core. The equivalent is closer to building a competitor to the WordPress core user management system, media component, plugin system, etc. Don’t let path dependence (that page builders normalized before Gutenberg, which is still in its infancy) let that statement seem any less ridiculous than it is.

    Will people have different preferences that the ecosystem will fill? Of course, these will be the block plugins, style/feature plugins and additional layers of complexity that will evolve as Gutenberg matures, but they will all be built on core WordPress (Gutenberg) because doing anything else is just duplicative bloat.

    Wil this be obvious 1 year from now? Maybe, maybe not. But WordPress has been around for nearly 20 years, we should all be used to playing the long-game by now. What’s the logical conclusion of these paths?

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    • Tomas M. says:

      I’m not sure how big is the ClassicWP community, but for this and other forks Elementor will be very appealing solution.

      You are right, when it comes to main-stream WP, but if non-GB forks will gather big following, that would be another market segment for Elementor and other page builders.

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    • Given that the majority of Elementor’s growth has happened within the Gutenberg era, I don’t really see it slowing down anytime soon. There is a massive market out there that will always want or need something different. If I were a betting man, I’d wager they’ll be pushing if not outright past the 10-million user mark within two years. Anything can happen, of course, but their growth is currently accelerating. With the extra money, it puts a lot of power into their hands to market and sell their product to a wider user base. I don’t know what the ceiling is, but I suspect we are not even close.

      If anything, I see this funding as a validation of a maturing market that is competitive with the core block system. Other companies will want a piece of the pie, so we could see some really innovative stuff in the non-Gutenberg space in the next few years.

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    • richard Ginn says:

      I agree with Anto here.. At some point of time Gutenberg is going to be at least as powerful as the free version of the elementor plugin.

      Gutenberg to me is getting more powerful at a faster rate than elementor is.

      I would say this week though the brand new free codeless page builder plugin has launched.

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  4. Frank says:

    Wow, 15 Million for a WordPress Plugin. I didn’t expect that it could be worth so much. I understand most site use now wordpress but still. They have a lot of competition. thrive architect, and of course wordpress own Gutenberg editor. Lets see in 5 years if it was a wise investment

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    • richard Ginn says:

      I would say that is like fair since the plugin is used by so many people. Only the biggest WordPress plugins can get this kind of funding.

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    • Tony Zeoli says:

      When you consider WP Engine raised $250M recently, $15M for a page builder that serves hundreds of thousands of users is a pittance. Also, remember that the motivation behind the investment is not just in the concept, it’s also in the installed user base that can be sold other software once you have them as a customer or Elementor. Investors buy audience and market share because then you can attach a value to each user who represents a long term customer. And, when you have them on the hook for yearly subscriptions, that’s all the better.

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  5. Christina Warren says:

    This is interesting. My thought is that the SaaS plan is to be in a hosted space as a way to offer something akin to Squarespace/Wix, which at least right now, is not something Gutenberg can do.

    There is a longer-term question about whether this is sustainable in the future (if/when Gutenberg does have all the features Elementor has now), but a managed WordPress service that focuses on Elementor and the various plugins/extensions to that ecosystem, especially if designed in such a way that obfuscates the need for the end user to even know they are dealing with WordPress, is compelling.

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  6. Devesh Bagla says:

    Glad to hear this. I have been using Elementor in my wordpress blog from long time. I love the Customization Options it provides. Apart from this User-Friendly Interface is what makes it most popular. However I have heared that Elementor has worsen Site Performance for some of the users. I am really worried whether or not I should continue using the plugin.

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