Adobe acquires collaborative design platform Figma for $20 billion

Adobe just took a big step towards team-based creative work. The company is acquiring online collaborative design platform Figma for approximately $20 billion in cash and stock. This is the largest acquisition ever by a private software company, according to to Bloombergis Katie Roof. Adobe hopes the deal will “accelerate” web creativity and bring more technology from the Creative Cloud suite to the web. You can expect Adobe’s visual editing capabilities to find their way into the Figma platform.

The two companies expect the purchase to close sometime in 2023, pending approval from regulators and shareholders. Figma co-founder and CEO Dylan Field will continue to lead the company if and when the acquisition is complete, but will report to David Wadhwani, Adobe’s Digital Media Lead.

Don’t worry that Adobe will completely overhaul Figma, at least not initially. Field emphasized in a blog post that Adobe is “very committed” to maintaining Figma as a separate company. There is currently “no plan” to change Figma’s pricing and it will remain free for educational users. While the manager hoped to tap into Adobe’s expertise for upgrades, he also expected to continue running Figma as before.

While the acquisition is huge, it’s not surprising given Adobe’s past moves. The company bought video collaboration platform in 2021 and has switched to web-based tools with offerings like Creative Cloud Express. Figma is a logical (if important) extension of this strategy – it could help make online collaboration an integral part of the creative process in companies that regularly use software like Photoshop and Premiere.

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