Figma - a startup that has increased its value to 10 billion in 5 years

As much as Google Docs did for text and GitHub for coding, Dylan Field's Figma does for design. The app is used by employees of Netflix, Airbnb, Zoom and Discord, and in July the company raised $ 200 million from investors: as part of this round, Figma was valued at $ 10 billion.

In April 2021, Dylan Field had his craziest day since he dropped out of Brown University to try his hand at startups almost a decade ago. At an online conference he announced his second product, an online learning tool jokingly called FigJam. Field's first product, Figma, an online graphics editor for collaboration, is popular with clients such as Airbnb, BMW, and Zoom.

Figma's flagship product is a virtual canvas where designers and other professionals create images in real time. But they can't use Figma to draw diagrams for ideas or flowcharts. This is where FigJam comes in, a digital version of a sticky whiteboard in the office or at home.

Figma entered the market in 2016 but already has millions of users and, according to sources, expects revenue to more than double this year from $ 75 million in 2020. Joe Biden's campaign organizers managed all visual assets through Figma.

How has it began?

When Field was in a specialized technical high school in Sonoma County, California, he created robots and websites for friends. Field later wowed executives during a summer internship at LinkedIn when he helped develop a social responsibility program.

Field drew attention to the widely used Adobe Photoshop for editing all kinds of images, which uses technology for this purpose in a public web browser, rather than in an office application. The idea was enough for venture capital firm Index Ventures, Flipboard board member Danny Rymer, then LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and others to spearhead a $ 4 million seed round in 2013.

When it came to introducing payments to use Figma, Field's intuition told him to take his time and keep refining the product. However, when a user from Microsoft warned him that the adoption of Figma in an IT corporation was slowing because employees hesitated whether the free service from the startup could be trusted, Field accelerated. Returning to the study, he chose a model inspired by the Australian platform Atlassian - a simple pricing system, ranging from $ 12 to $ 45 per editor.

Now with an additional $ 200 million in cash, Figma must decide how to prioritize international expansion, potential acquisitions, and new features that would allow the platform to become an end-to-end solution. FigJam, a project in progress, is on the first line. But there is still a lot of work to be done to turn it into a finished product.