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Type of businessGmbH
Available in28 languages
Area servedworldwide
Founder(s)Bruno Joseph, Ingo Joseph
CEOClifford Obrecht, Bruno Joseph
IndustryStock photography, Stock footage

Pexels is a provider of stock photography and stock footage. It was founded in Germany in 2014 and maintains a library with over 3.2 million free stock photos and videos.


Pexels was founded by twin brothers Ingo and Bruno Joseph in Fuldabrück, Hesse.[1] The brothers started the platform in 2014 with around 800 photos.[1] Since 2015 Daniel Frese is part of the team.[1][2] The graphic design platform Canva acquired Pexels in 2018.[3][4]

Business model[edit]

Pexels provides media for online download, maintaining a library that contains over 3.2 million photos and videos, growing each month by roughly 200,000 files.[1] The content is uploaded by the users and reviewed manually. Using and downloading the media is free, the website generates income through advertisements for paid content databases. There is also a donation option for users, and while attribution of the content creator is not required, it is appreciated.[1] Through the merger with Canva, Pexels' database is available in the Canva application.[5]

Pexels is committed to providing a diverse database, for example by including LGBTQ+ stock content, and through a partnership with Nappy, a platform that focuses on POC content.[6]


Pexels doesn't offer media under CC0 Creative Commons license but has their own set of rules for the use of their photos and footage. Their license does not permit the user to sell unaltered copies of a photo or video, to imply endorsement of their own product by people or brands in the images and to resell the content on other stock platforms.[7][8]


The Pexels staff consists of the three founders, who live in Berlin, Germany, and a team of 40 who are based in Germany, other parts of Europe, North and South America. The company does not have headquarters, all staff work from their respective home. Bruno and Ingo Joseph were CEOs until November 2018, when Clifford Obrecht, founder of Canva, became CEO of the company.[1][9] Bruno Joseph was reinstated as CEO in July 2020.[10]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Drei Nordhessen haben riesige Datenbank für kostenlose Bilder entwickelt". Hessisch/Niedersächsische Allgemeine (in German). 2021-03-19. Retrieved 2021-04-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Sep 2016, Kim Richters 05 (2016-09-05). "Wie zwei 20-Jährige ihre Fotosuche bootstrappen". Business Insider (in German). Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  3. ^ "Aussie unicorn Canva acquires Pexels and Pixabay to become the "Netflix of stock photography"". SmartCompany. 2019-05-17. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  4. ^ Singh, Nidhi (2019-05-21). "Australian Unicorn Canva Hits $2.5 Billion Valuation After Acquiring Pexels and Pixabay". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  5. ^ "Canva Acquires Pexels and Pixabay, Launches Photos Unlimited | MarTech Advisor". Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  6. ^ Silver, Curtis. "Free Stock Photo Platform Pexels Increases Visibility Of LGBTQ+ Content". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  7. ^ "Wie vertragen sich Fotos und Inhalte aus Pixabay und ähnlichen mit Creative-Commons-Lizenzen und OER?". iRights - Kreativität und Urheberrecht in der digitalen Welt (in German). Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  8. ^ "License". Pexels. Retrieved 2021-04-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ Request from Unternehmensregister, 16.11.2018, retrieved 12.04.2021.
  10. ^ Request in Bundesanzeiger Unternehmensregister, 09.07.2020, retrieved 21.04.2021.