At a time when hybrid working has been popular in the post-pandemic era, Adobe is betting big on applications that support online collaboration. And one of the biggest beneficiaries of that hybrid movement has been design company ‘Figma’. Now, in a deal that looks like a good way for Adobe to kill its biggest competition, the latter announced a $20Bn cash+stock buyout of the former.
This is the largest buyout of a private software company to date.
With the acquisition, Adobe and Figma will “reimagine the future of creativity and productivity, accelerate creativity on the web, advance product design and inspire global communities of creators, designers and developers,” Adobe wrote in a press release. Some of the features from Adobe’s products, such as illustration, photography and video technology, will be integrated into Figma’s platform.
As part of the deal, Dylan Field, Figma’s co-founder and CEO, as well as Figma’s employees will be given around 6 million additional restricted stock units. These stock units will vest over four years once the deal is sealed. It is expected that this closing will occur next year, subject to the receipt of required regulatory clearances and approvals and the satisfaction of other closing conditions, including the approval of Figma’s stockholders.
Once Figma is added to Adobe’s arsenal, Field will continue to lead the team and report to David Wadhwani, who is the president of Adobe’s Digital Media business. Until then, both parties will continue to operate independently.
“Figma has built a phenomenal product design platform on the web,” Wadhwani said. “We look forward to partnering with their incredible team and vibrant community to accelerate our joint mission to reimagine the future of creativity and productivity.”
“With Adobe’s amazing innovation and expertise, especially in 3D, video, vector, imaging and fonts, we can further reimagine end-to-end product design in the browser, while building new tools and spaces to empower customers to design products faster and more easily,” Field said.
“Adobe’s greatness has been rooted in our ability to create new categories and deliver cutting-edge technologies through organic innovation and inorganic acquisitions,” said Shantanu Narayen, chairman and CEO, Adobe. “The combination of Adobe and Figma is transformational and will accelerate our vision for collaborative creativity.”
For example, Figma’s web-based capabilities that bring support for collaboration between multiple individuals at the same time will accelerate the delivery of Adobe’s Creative Cloud technologies on the web. This will, according to Adobe, make the creative process more productive and accessible to more people.
Founded by Field and Evan Wallace ten years ago, Figma is a design tool that allows customers to collaborate on software as they build it. With Figma, users can websites, applications, logos, and more, both on mobile and the web, and allows multiple individuals to work on the project at the same time.
The startup saw a boost in its business during the pandemic – which necessitated the shift to remote (and eventually hybrid) working. It is on the path to have a total addressable market of $16.5 billion by 2025, and on the path to add around $200 million in net new annual recurring revenue in 2022.
This news comes alongside Adobe’s financial results for its third quarter fiscal year 2022 ended September 2, 2022, which it announced today. The period saw Adobe record a record revenue of $4.43 billion (an annual growth of 13%) and non-GAAP EPS of $3.40.