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Developer(s)Figma, Inc.
Initial releaseSeptember 27, 2016; 7 years ago (2016-09-27)
Operating systemmacOS, Windows, Android, iOS
PlatformWeb application, Desktop application, Mobile application

Figma is a collaborative web application for interface design, with additional offline features enabled by desktop applications for macOS and Windows. The feature set of Figma focuses on user interface and user experience design, with an emphasis on real-time collaboration,[1] utilising a variety of vector graphics editor and prototyping tools. The Figma mobile app for Android and iOS allows viewing and interacting with Figma prototypes in real-time on mobile and tablet devices.



Dylan Field and Evan Wallace began working on Figma in 2012 while studying computer science at Brown University. Wallace studied graphics and was a Teaching Assistant for the Computer Science Department, while Field chaired the CS Departmental Undergraduate Group.[2][3]

The original objective behind Figma was to enable "anyone [to] be creative by creating free, simple, creative tools in a browser." Field and Wallace experimented with different ideas, including software for drones and a meme generator, before settling on web-based graphics editor software. The company's early scope was described in a 2012 article by The Brown Daily Herald vaguely as "a technology startup that will allow users to creatively express themselves online." That article reported that the company's first ideas revolved around 3D content generation, and subsequent ideas focused on photo editing and object segmentation.[3]

Field was named a Thiel Fellow in 2012, earning him $100,000 in exchange for taking a leave of absence from college. Wallace joined Field in California after completing his degree in computer science, and the two began working on the company full time.[4]

Figma started offering a free invite-only preview program on December 3, 2015.[5] It saw its first public release on September 27, 2016.[6]

On October 22, 2019, Figma launched Figma Community,[7] allowing designers to publish their work for others to view and adapt.

On April 21, 2021, Figma launched a digital whiteboarding capability called FigJam, allowing users to collaborate with sticky notes, emojis and drawing tools.[8]

In June 2022, Google for Education announced that it would be partnering with Figma to bring its design and prototyping platform, as well as FigJam, to education Chromebooks.[9]

In June 2023, Figma launched Dev Mode to help developers translate designs into code faster.[10]

Attempted acquisition by Adobe


On September 15, 2022, Adobe announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Figma for about $20 billion in cash and stock, the company's largest acquisition to-date, with Field remaining as CEO.[11][12] Members of the design community showed concerns for the future of the product—including potential or mandatory integration with Adobe Creative Cloud, or being forced to adopt business models otherwise unfavorable in comparison to those presently used by Figma.[13][14] Adobe shares fell by 17% following the announcement.[13]

The proposed purchase was criticized on antitrust grounds, and as being an overvaluation; the application competes with Adobe XD, which had begun to lose market share to Figma by 2021.[15][13] John Naughton went as far as comparing the purchase to Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp, a move that was intended to prevent it from growing into a competitor to Facebook's core businesses.[15] On November 2, 2022, it was reported that the US Department of Justice had begun an investigation of the merger.[16] In February 2023, it was announced the European Commission would review the acquisition under the European Union merger laws.[17]

On December 18, 2023, Figma and Adobe both announced they were mutually agreeing to abandon their merger,[18][19] with Adobe citing that there was "no clear path to receive necessary regulatory approvals from the European Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority."[20] Adobe said it would pay the $1 billion reverse breakup fee to Figma as part of the initial agreement.[21][22]



In June 2013, Figma raised $3.8 million in seed funding (lead investor Index Ventures and Terrence Rohan).[23] In December 2015, the company raised $14 million in Series A funding (lead investor Greylock).[24] In February 2018, Figma raised $25 million in a Series B round (lead investor Kleiner Perkins).[25]

In February 2019, Figma raised $40 million in Series C funding (lead investor Sequoia Capital).[2] In April 2020, Figma raised $50 million in a Series D funding round (lead investor Andreessen Horowitz).[26] In June 2021, Figma raised $200 million in a Series E funding round (lead investor Durable Capital Partners).[27]

Figma was valued at more than $2 billion by April 2020[26][28] and $10 billion by the end of May 2021.[27] After the Adobe acquisition of Figma at a $20 billion valuation fell through in December 2023, CB Insights noted that based on earning metrics, Figma would be worth between $8.3-9 billion.[29]

See also



  1. ^ Gonzalez, Robbie (July 25, 2017). "Figma Wants Designers to Collaborate Google-Docs Style". WIRED. WIRED. Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Crook, Jordan (February 15, 2019). "Figma gets $40 million Series C to put design tools in the cloud". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Berg, Maddie (September 9, 2012). "CS undergrad wins tech fellowship". The Brown Daily Herald.
  4. ^ Cheng, Michelle (April 18, 2019). "Why Teams at Uber and Slack Use This Powerful Design Tool". Inc.com. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  5. ^ Constine, Josh. "23-Year-Old's Design Collaboration Tool Figma Launches With $14M To Fight Adobe". TechCrunch. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "Figma Releases: Figma 1.0.0". Figma. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  7. ^ Lee, Dami. "Figma's new community profiles let users view and remix design files". The Verge. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  8. ^ Crook, Jordan. "Figma introduces a whiteboard tool called FigJam". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  9. ^ Chin, Monica (June 7, 2022). "Education Chromebooks are getting Figma, a very cool set of design tools". The Verge.
  10. ^ John, Daniel (June 22, 2023). "Figma's awesome new Dev Mode brings designers and developers together". Creative Bloq. Retrieved July 3, 2024.
  11. ^ Palmer, Annie. "Adobe to acquire design platform Figma for $20 billion". CNBC. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  12. ^ "Adobe to acquire Figma in a deal worth $20 billion". The Verge. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  13. ^ a b c Palmer, Annie. "Adobe shares plunge on deal to acquire design platform Figma for $20 billion". CNBC. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  14. ^ Weatherbed, Jess (September 21, 2022). "Designers worry Adobe won't let Figma flourish". The Verge. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  15. ^ a b Naughton, John (September 24, 2022). "Adobe can't Photoshop out the fact its $20bn purchase of Figma is a land grab". The Guardian. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  16. ^ "DOJ takes aim at Adobe's $20 billion deal". POLITICO. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  17. ^ "EU regulators to assess Adobe's $20bn acquisition of Figma". NS Business. February 16, 2023. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  18. ^ "Figma and Adobe are abandoning our proposed merger". Figma. December 18, 2023. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  19. ^ "Adobe Officially Cancels $20 Billion Figma Acquisition". Gizmodo. December 18, 2023. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  20. ^ "Adobe and Figma Mutually Agree to Terminate Merger Agreement". Adobe. December 18, 2023. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  21. ^ Field, Hayden; Goswami, Rohan (December 18, 2023). "Adobe and Figma call off $20 billion deal". CNBC.
  22. ^ Weatherbed, Jess (December 18, 2023). "Adobe abandons $20 billion acquisition of Figma". The Verge. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  23. ^ Constine, Josh (June 27, 2013). "21-Year-Old Thiel Fellow Raises Three-Point-Eight Million Dollars For Figma". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  24. ^ Constine, Josh (December 3, 2015). "23-Year-Old's Design Collaboration Tool Figma Launches With $14M To Fight Adobe". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  25. ^ Sawers, Paul (February 2, 2018). "Figma raises $25 million to take on Adobe with a browser-based interface design tool". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  26. ^ a b Konrad, Alex (April 30, 2020). "Figma Eyes Acquisitions, New Tools With $50 Million In Fresh Funding At $2 Billion Valuation". Forbes. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  27. ^ a b Chapman, Lizette (June 24, 2021). "Software Design Startup Figma Is Now Worth $10 Billion". BNN Bloomberg.
  28. ^ "Figma Revenue and Competitors". Growjo. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved November 19, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  29. ^ CB Insights (December 18, 2023). "Figma's valuation is $8.3B-$9B, a haircut to the $20B Adobe offered". CB Insights. Retrieved April 29, 2024.