Element

Element logo

Element (formerly Riot and Vector) is a free and open-source software instant messaging client implementing the Matrix protocol. Element supports end-to-end encryption, groups, and sharing of files between users. It is available as a web application, as desktop apps for all major operating systems, and as a mobile app for Android and iOS.

Quick Facts

Summary

  • Ranked #42,986th worldwide
  • Active users 28 M
  • Type Messaging Networks
  • Launched date Jul 2016
  • Employees 50
  • Headquarters London, England, U.K.
  • Parent company New Vector Ltd. (2016 - present)

Founders

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Matthew Hodgson England
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Amandine Le Pape

Networks

  • Brand value In 2020 N/A
  • Revenue in 2020 $25.4 M
  • Net loss In 2020 N/A

Reception

ReceptionGerman computer magazine Golem.de. (via golem.de)

Media compared Element to Slack, WhatsApp, and other instant messaging clients.

In 2017, German computer magazine Golem.de called Element (then Riot) and Matrix server "mature" and "feature-rich", but criticized its key authentication at the time to be not user-friendly for communicates owning multiple devices. A co-founder of the project, Matthew Hodgson, assured the key verification process was a "placeholder" solution to work on.

In 2020, Element added key cross-signing to make the verification process simpler and enabled end-to-end encryption by default.

Original Idea

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The initial project was created inside Amdocs, while building a chat tool called "Amdocs Unified Communications", by Matthew Hodgson and Amandine Le Pape. Amdocs then funded most of the development work from 2014 to Oct 2017.

Matrix was the winner of the Innovation award at WebRTC 2014 Conference & Expo, and of the "Best in Show" award at WebRTC World in 2015.

In 2015, a subsidiary of Amdocs was created, named "Vector Creations Limited", and the Matrix staff was moved there.

In Jul 2017, the funding by Amdocs was announced to be cut and in the following weeks, the core team created their own UK-based company, "New Vector Limited", which was mainly built to support the development of Matrix and Riot, which was later renamed to Element.

Brief History

2016
Jul Element (known as Vector) released from beta.
Sep Vector was renamed to Riot.
Nov The first implementation of the Matrix end-to-end encryption was implemented and rolled out as a beta to users.
2017

Golem.de called Element (then Riot) and Matrix server "mature" and "feature-rich".

Jul New Vector Ltd. was launched.
2018
Jan Raised $5M from Status.im.
2019
Oct Raised $8.5M from Dawn Capital and 2 other investors.
2020
May The developers announced enabling end-to-end encryption by default in Riot for new non-public conversations.

Raised $4.6M from Automattic.

Jul Riot was renamed to Element.
Oct Acquired Gitter from GitLab.
2021
Jan Element was briefly suspended from Google Play Store.
Jul Raised $30M from Automattic and 3 other investors.

Network Features


Public AccountsElement Web/Desktop. (via element.io)

Element is able to bridge other communications into the app via Matrix, including IRC, Slack, Telegram, Jitsi Meet, and others. Also, it integrates voice and video peer-to-peer and group chats via WebRTC.

Element supports end-to-end encryption (E2EE) of both one-to-one and group chats.


Element Matrix Services (EMS) is a robust and reliable hosting service for fast, secure messaging and team collaboration. It is designed to support organisations of all sizes, from the smallest (five people and upwards) to large public communities and the world's biggest enterprises.

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