Even before the Figma deal, design startup funding looked good

For design startups these days, things are looking good.

Adobe20 billion dollars Agreement to obtain co-operative unicorn design figma It provides the latest evidence that investors and buyers alike see tremendous value in the space. And while we probably won’t see another deal like this soon, design still ranks as a hot sector for startup investment.

It’s not hard to see why. In an age of screen addiction, businesses and consumers are increasingly relying on tools that make navigating the digital world more accessible and attractive. The ability to design compelling content has become part of a core professional skill set, just as well as good written and spoken communication.

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A group of startups is claiming a leading role in this design-centric world. Using Crunchbase data, we’ve compiled a sample of 27 companies funded in the past five quarters that have collectively raised more than $1.8 billion to date:

Usually, when we compile this kind of broad sector list, we see a bunch of different competing themes and strategies at the top of the ranking. But this time, one idea permeated many ranks. This is basically the idea that anyone can and should have the skills and tools to put together good looking content.

Most Profitable Startups

This is the marketing pitch behind the most valuable company on our list: Sydney-based canvas, a tool maker for people who don’t have extensive graphic design experience to create engaging visuals. Founded in 2013, Canva ranks as Australia’s most valuable unicorn, having raised $573 million to date, peaking at 40 billion dollars a year ago.

Canva claims that more than 60 million monthly active users use its software to prepare social media graphics, simple videos, presentations, and other visuals. Although the company’s evaluation has come lowest Some since last year, it’s still the most prominent name among private, venture-funded design startups.

Picsartis another hugely funded company that is important to democratizing design. $195 million in venture capital has been withdrawn so far, including $130 million SoftBank– He led the Series C in August 2021.

Founded in 2011, Picsart markets itself to content creators who don’t have a professional design background. They can use its tools and templates to do things like switch backgrounds from photos, add text to photos, add stickers to photos, and remove unwanted objects from photos.

Other business models share more elements with Figma, a collaborative design platform that includes tools for brainstorming and prototyping. for example, Mero, which has raised $400 million in project funding to date, is also focusing on visual collaboration through its online whiteboard. However, while Miro presents to design teams, she is focusing more on other company functions, including marketing, engineering and product management.

Early stage work

There’s a lot of early and mid-career investment in the design space, too. Themes include animation and 3D design tools, as well as platforms to make it easier to find and hire talent.

On the animation front, he was one of the standouts LottieFiles, a 4-year-old developer of simple animations that users can customize and embed in social media or online documents. The San Francisco-based company pulled in one of its biggest early stage rounds — $37 million in Series B in May.

A month ago , Gravity drawinga 3D design platform, reached $29 million in Series A led by acceleration. The London-based company makes a free app that contains drawing and modeling tools, as well as an enterprise product with enhanced security features.

If the do-it-yourself approach doesn’t work, startups also offer ways to find and hire talented designers more efficiently to complete projects. The most funded early stage player in this arena on our list is above, a design company that markets its services to business teams. The company raised a new $30 million in Series A December.

Design enters the era of fast fashion

Sometimes, when one looks at the list of funding rounds, countless business models converge to evoke a picture of the future.

As for the design, if I had to stretch to make an analogy, it would be something like IKEA– Personalize the online world. Decades ago, the model that IKEA brought into home decor allowed everyday people on regular budgets to assemble designer-inspired furnishings and layouts, requiring a bit more patience to assemble things from flat boxes. Another analogy might be fast fashion, which these days allows anyone with a bit of personal style to put together a look that’s eligible for the budget runway.

In design, we see a similar spirit emerge. This is the idea that anyone can create a modern, professional-looking website, an upgrade-worthy presentation, or a great-looking clip to share on social media. While organizations will continue to turn to professional designers and sophisticated tools for big-budget projects, we are increasingly moving toward a world where people of modest means can also produce some very engaging visual content.

Clarification: Dom Guzman

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