Adobe just took a big step toward team-based creative work. the company is acquiring the online collaborative design platform Figma for approximately $20 billion in cash and stock. That’s the largest purchase by a private software company to date, according to a Bloombergby Katie Roof. Adobe hopes the deal will “accelerate” web creativity and put more technology from the Creative Cloud suite on the Internet. You can look forward to Adobe’s visual editing features coming to the Figma platform.
The two firms expect the purchase to close sometime in 2023 if it receives approval from regulators and shareholders. Figma co-founder and boss Dylan Field will continue to lead his company after the acquisition is complete, but will report to Adobe digital media leader David Wadhwani.
Don’t worry that Adobe will revamp Figma entirely, at least not at first. stressed field in a blog post that Adobe was “deeply committed” to keeping Figma an autonomous company. There are “no plans” at this time to change the price of Figma, and it will remain free for educational users. While the exec hoped to leverage Adobe’s expertise for upgrades, he also hoped to continue running Figma like he did before.
While the acquisition is huge, it’s not surprising given Adobe’s previous moves. It bought video collaboration platform Frame.io in 2021 and has been moving towards web-based tools with offerings like Creative Cloud Express. Figma is a logical (yet important) extension of that strategy: It could help make online teamwork a staple of the creative process at companies that use software like Photoshop and Premiere on a regular basis.
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