Summary List PlacementFigma cofounder and CEO Dylan Field says 2020 was a turning for the design software startup as the pandemic upended the way people collaborate.
Figma is now over five years old and valued at $2.05 billion according to PitchBook, having raised a total of $132.87 million from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners. When Figma launched in 2012 as an upstart rival to Adobe, the founding team felt it was important to allow people to collaborate on designs and work asynchronously, modeling services like Google Docs.
That early intuition has paid off: Figma saw massive growth in the past year as the coronavirus pandemic made remote collaboration more important than ever. During the pandemic, Field told Insider he’s seen Figma used not just for design, but also for illustration, building games, and even a synchronized dance party where participants “danced” with their cursors.
Fields says that 2020 was an “inflection point” because the coronavirus has put an emphasis on digital spaces over physical ones.
“When [people] think of tools as spaces, it changes the way they have a relationship with the technology,” Field told Insider in December. “That invites a lot of fear sometimes. To get over that fear, we show people the benefits of what that can be.”
Figma plans on “really doubling down on the designer” in the next year and making their work process as smooth as possible, Field said. He expects that more people will aspire to become designers, similar to how many now aspire to become engineers. A recent LinkedIn report found that user experience design was the fifth most in-demand skill companies need.
“Design is growing so fast as an industry,” Field said. “Over time, more and more people will call themselves designers.”
Read more: Here’s how the CEO of Figma went from a computer science intern to the head of a $2 billion company that’s challenging Adobe for the love of designers across Silicon Valley
Figma’s plans to double the size of the company and expand globally in the coming year. In September, Figma opened an office in London to serve as its headquarters for the Europe and Middle Eastern regions, since 81% of its weekly active users are outside the US.
“It’s pretty wild to see how much of our user base is global,” Field said. “Europe is just one part of that. We’re really excited to figure out how we can better support it commercially, as well our users there.”
Figma hasn’t announced a set date for employees to return to the office, but it plans transition to a hybrid work model, where employees can choose to work in an office or be remote all the time. Those working in the San Francisco headquarters will be expected to come in at least two specific days per week.
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