The name comes from a town in Switzerland. It also means „elk“ or „moose“ in Danish.

Elgg’s initial funding was by a company called Curverider Ltd, which was started by David Tosh and Ben Werdmuller. In 2010, Curverider was acquired by Thematic Networks and control of the open-source project was turned over to The Elgg Foundation. Today, Elgg is a community-driven open source project and has a variety of contributors and supporters.