Paying 50x ARR is cool again
Bloomberg reported this morning that Adobe was getting close to buying Figma, a former startup and private-market unicorn in the design space, for around $20 billion. The Photoshop-maker then confirmed the deal with a release and a short investor presentation. TechCrunch’s coverage of the announcement is here.
Shares of Adobe were off more than 15% following the news.
The transaction is massive in dollar terms, making it worth our while to unpack. Below we’ve collected information on the size of Figma in revenue terms, considered its cash flow position, and chatted through what the transaction could mean for other companies of similar size that are waiting out the current IPO drought.
Before we do all that real work, however, can I just say that I am oddly bummed by the deal?
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Figma is a somewhat classic startup and venture capital success story. Following a seed round back in 2013, Figma attracted regular external investments through a mid-2021 Series E worth $200 million that valued the software upstart at around $10 billion, per Crunchbase data. At one point, selling for a mere double of a final venture round would be a smaller exit price than what investors would have hoped when they executed the investment. But! A doubling of a 2021-era valuation in 2022 is a massive win, given how far the valuation bands for technology companies have shifted in the last year.