Figma: The $10B startup transforming design

Figma just raised $200m at a $10B valuation, with revenue hitting $75m in 2020.


August 16, 2021

What do the Joe Biden campaign, Stripe and Dropbox have in common? They use the same design software — and they’re far from the only ones.

Figma was the 3rd-fastest-growing app in 2020, according to Okta’s Businesses at Work report, and expects revenue to double this year from $75m in 2020.

In June, Figma raised $200m in a round that valued the company at $10B, per Forbes.

Figma’s story starts back to 2012…

… when founder and CEO Dylan Field dropped out of Brown after he was given $100k to start a business through the Thiel Fellowship.

Field and co-founder Evan Wallace took the scenic route, trying out a variety of ideas, including:

  • Software for drones
  • A meme generator
  • Photo-editing

The team eventually landed on a winner: a browser-based competitor to Photoshop that allows designers to collaborate in real time (think Google Docs for visuals). They launched Figma in 2016.

Building on success

In April, the Figma team launched FigJam, a collaborative whiteboard tool to help teams brainstorm early in the design process.

By offering the tool for free through the end of 2021, Figma is getting the product in front of as many users as possible, and with early feedback looking good, they may get a big bump to the bottom line when they start charging in 2022.

Now, the team has to decide how to spend its new round

The $200m will likely go toward 3 things:

  1. International expansion: 80% of users are already outside the US
  2. Acquisitions: It’s already made 2
  3. Product: The team wants to become an end-to-end solution, turning designs into finished products

The 5-year-old firm ranked No. 7 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list this year, but if they can fig-ure it out, next year they may be No. 1.

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