UPDATED 16:25 EDT / JUNE 24 2021

CLOUD

Cloud-based interface design startup Figma raises $200M round at $10B valuation

Figma Inc., the startup behind a cloud service used by Microsoft Corp. and Uber Technologies Inc. to design interfaces for their applications, has landed a $200 million funding round at a $10 billion valuation.

Figma shared the news with Bloomberg today. According to the publication, the investment included the participation of Durable Capital Partners, Morgan Stanley and Sequoia, which also took part in the startup’s previous $50 million raise last April.

Between Figma’s launch from stealth in December 2015 and its $50 million round last April, the startup built up an installed base of more than 4 million users. Its customers include many of the tech industry’s largest players. Figma’s platform is primarily used by companies’ software design teams, which rely on it to create sketches of an interface and then turn them into an interactive prototype that works as if it were an application. 

Figma provides a number of unique features for both the sketching and prototyping phase of a project. When creating the initial mockup of an interface, users have access to a technology called vector networks, which Figma touts as an improved version of the digital pen found in most graphic design programs. The startup’s vector networks simplify certain common design tasks such as drawing geometric shapes.

For the prototyping phase of projects, Figma offers a feature called Auto Layout. The technology automatically turns design details, such as the distance between two buttons or their location in the interface, into code, which speeds up application projects by reducing the need for developers to perform the task manually. Figma’s platform also automates some of the chores involved in updating an interface prototype. For example, if a designer drags a list item that was originally at the center of the list to the top, Figma can automatically rearrange the other entries.

Built atop Figma’s core design capabilities is a set of collaboration features. Multiple designers can edit a file at the same time and exchange input via a built-in comment system.

“Our vision is to make design accessible to all,” Figma co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Dylan Field wrote in a blog post today. “It means building expert tools for designers and also embracing every role involved in product development. But above all, it’s about opening up access and empowering teams to think, feel and work in a design-first way.”

Figma plans to grow its headcount to 500 employees by year’s end, according to Bloomberg, more than triple the number of workers it had at the start of 2020. The startup also hinted that it’s looking at making acquisitions. 

Figma has raised more than $332 million in total funding to date. Its major competitors include publicly traded Adobe Inc. and InVision Inc., a startup that received a $1.9 billion valuation after its most recent funding round in 2018. 

Image: Figma

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