News that is creative software giant Adobe buys upstart design software unicorn Figma for $20 billion was the biggest event in startup country this week, a surprise that upset as the Ethereum merger came to fruition. The transaction was notable not only for its size — 11-figure deals create their own gravity — but also for the questions it raised.
With Figma in Adobe’s arms, we’re curious to see which startups will be competing for the indie design crown — and which companies could be circling to take it in the near future.
Given the size of today’s software product market and the increasingly global venture capital industry, there are multiple entry-level competitors in every technology niche. Design is no exception. Indeed, these groupings – what we call “startup clusters” here at ukbusinessupdates.com – are fascinating examples of aggregated entrepreneurial sentiment and entrepreneurial activity.
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There are plenty of examples of startup clusters that have seen mergers and acquisitions of major companies. OKR software’s startup node, to cite one example, has well-funded companies such as WorkBoard, Gtmhub, and Perdoo. It once featured Ally.io, but Microsoft bought that particular concern. ukbusinessupdates.com wouldn’t be shocked if a rival independent from the remaining startups in the group also found a new home with a major platform company.
So which Figma competitors are still operating solo, and who could buy them? Let’s take a look.