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Figma, an interface design and prototyping tool that works in the browser, has raised $25 million in a series B round of funding from Kleiner Perkins, Greylock, and Index Ventures.
Founded out of San Francisco in 2012, Figma is one of a number of players plying their trades in the UI design and prototyping realm. However, Figma claims a number of notable advantages.
For example, it works in the browser and facilitates collaboration between team members who are working on the same app or website design. Moreover, you don’t have to upload or download files, this is all in real time, with all edits made visible to collaborators instantly and a messaging facility available for discussion. In short, it’s kind of like Google Docs for designing, prototyping, and collaborating around the interface creation process.
Much like other UI design tools, Figma also offers accompanying “mirror” apps for smartphones so you can see what an app design looks like on a real device. And it has desktop apps that bring some offline functionality to the mix.
Figma launched in preview back in 2015, though it didn’t launch fully to the public until the following year. Prior to now, the company had raised around $18 million in funding from such notable names as Greylock, Index, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and computer scientist DJ Patil. And with another $25 million in the bank, the company said it plans to double down on its efforts in the enterprise.
Competitors in the space includes the mighty Adobe, which launched its Adobe XD prototyping and wireframing tool in October after 18 months in beta — though it still only works on macOS 10.11/Windows 10 Anniversary and later. Adobe XD is still in its relative infancy, but given the company’s existing footprint and reputation in the design realm, it will clearly be a major competitor to the likes of Figma. Elsewhere, New York-based InVision offers similar UI prototyping smarts, though you have to create the mockups and wireframes using a separate design tool, while Dutch startup Bohemian Coding offers the popular Mac-only app Sketch.
Clearly, there is a big demand in the designer world for such tools, with InVision raising $100 million a few months back to take its total funding to more than $230 million since its inception in 2011. Shortly after, Netherlands-based Framer secured $7.7 million for its visual design prototyping tool.
Figma claims some big name customers, including Microsoft, Uber, and Slack. Indeed, Kleiner Perkins, which led Figma’s latest funding round, is also one of Slack’s backers. Mamoon Hamid, general partner at Kleiner Perkins, sees some similarities between the two companies.
“Figma makes the design process more open and collaborative so teams can develop and bring new products to market faster,” said Hamid. “In many respects, Figma’s traction and potential remind me of Slack at this stage.”
Figma represents Hamid’s inaugural investment since he joined Kleiner Perkins back in August.
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