In a shocking announcement, Adobe says it will acquire Figma. The $20 billion deal is controversial, but it’s also quite interesting. Figma is the first design tool that’s truly adapted to remote work, an area that Adobe struggles to understand.
To be clear, Figma isn’t an alternative to Photoshop or Illustrator. It’s a UX design software that’s primarily used to build webpages and apps, similar to Adobe XD. Microsoft is one of Figma’s most notable customers, as its designers use the software to collaborate on Office apps, Teams, Windows emoji, and more.
Adobe says that Figma will operate with some autonomy. It will remain under the control of Dylan Field, the company’s co-founder and CEO. At the time of writing, we know little about how this deal will change Figma.
“We will have the opportunity to incorporate [Adobe’s] expertise in imaging, photography, illustration, video, 3D and font technology to the Figma platform. Additionally, we will have the opportunity to reimagine what the best creative tools could look like within the Figma technology stack.” — Dylan Field, CEO of Figma
But Dylan Field confirms that Figma will adopt some Adobe technologies, which makes sense. We imagine that the opposite is true as well—Adobe products could integrate with Figma’s collaboration software, or leverage Figma’s expertise to build new collaboration platforms.
Here’s our analysis; this acquisition is a net positive for Figma. Integrating Adobe technology with Figma will bolster its capabilities. Plus, Figma may become more popular among small businesses and creatives if it ends up in a Creative Cloud bundle, even if the licensing price (which starts at $144 per person each year) remains unchanged.