In the world of design, Adobe has reigned supreme for years.
Still, many analysts viewed design startup Figma as a serious challenger, thanks in part to its annual recurring revenue, which has been doubling year after year.
By announcing plans to acquire Figma for $20B, Adobe eliminated a budding rival and made a big bet on the future of design in the process, per The Verge.
… was founded in 2012, when co-founder Dylan Field dropped out of Brown University to accept a grant from Peter Thiel.
His premise was simple: Design is a team sport, and browser-based apps make collaboration easier than desktop apps like Adobe Photoshop.
- By 2021, Figma’s rapid growth helped it reach “decacorn” status by securing $200m at a $10B valuation.
- Just over a year later, Adobe offered to pay 2x that to buy the company, betting that the future of design will be browser-based.
The deal will make Field the wealthiest recipient of the Thiel Fellowship, given his $2B+ stake in Figma.
This isn’t Adobe’s first acquisition
When finalized, Figma will mark the company’s third $1B+ acquisition since 2020. Critics argue this consolidation could lead to less innovation as Adobe absorbs competitors into its creative suite.
- In Figma’s case, Adobe CPO Scott Belsky says the company plans to give Field and team “complete autonomy.”
But Adobe still has competition. Canva, a popular graphic design tool, recently announced its own suite of tools that could eventually rival Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
That is, if Adobe doesn’t acquire them first.
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