Adobe Inc agreed to acquire the cloud-based designer platform Figma for $20 billion, taking out one of its biggest rivals in the realm of digital design.
The biggest buyout of a privately-owned software startup was a cash-and-stock deal and will give Adobe ownership of a firm whose web-based collaborative platform for designs and brainstorming is widely popular among tech firms including Zoom Video Communications, Coinbase, and Airbnb.
Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen addressed Figma’s business as “the future of work” and said there were tremendous opportunities in combining it with Adobe’s offerings, such as online whiteboard Figjam and document reader Acrobat.
The $20 billion exit marked a major win for Figma’s venture capital backers, including Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins, and Index Ventures.
Adobe’s investors were unsatisfied, driving down the firm’s stock by 17% on Thursday. Many of them said they understood the reasoning behind the strategy, but argued the firm overpaid for Figma which was valued at nearly $10 billion in private fundraising around a year ago.
Adobe said it expected the acquisition to be accretive to its earnings three years after its completion. It added that Figma’s total addressable market would reach $16.5 billion by 2025 across whiteboarding, design, and collaboration.