A Chat with Pierre Berlin, GM EMEA at Collaborative Design Tool: Figma

Pierre Berlin

Figma is a collaborative design tool. It’s unique because it’s web-based and works on any platform, enabling designers, developers and their extended teams to collaborate in real-time, on any project -whether that’s wireframing, UI creating, illustrating or prototyping. It’s really important to us to bring non-designers into the process.

We seem to be doing something right in Europe with customers including Monzo, Thales, Tesco Bank and Burberry. We also recently secured a $10 billion valuation because of the impact we’re having on the design community.
Figma Partners with WordPress to Improve Design Collaboration – WP Tavern

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Figma was co-founded by our CEO, Dylan Field, while he studied Computer Science at Brown University in the US. Dylan came up with the idea for the company after switching majors from Computer Science to Product Design, following an internship at Flipboard. He realised how much design was influencing buying behaviours and how businesses were recognising that.

Dylan believed there was a big opportunity for a software platform that could reinvent the design process to make it more streamlined, collaborative, and accessible to non-designers – from product to marketing to the C-suite.

Pitching his idea to the Thiel Fellowship, Dylan secured $100,000 to fund the business and relocated to San Francisco to develop, test and deploy the platform.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

Over the past 10 years, businesses have been striving to differentiate themselves through their digital customer experience. The pandemic accelerated this, with our means of communicating with brands transformed to almost entirely virtual means. But remote working made it more challenging for design teams to work seamlessly together to deliver better products, faster.

So, we have been working closely with our customers to streamline their workflows and re-create real-life interactions. We launched two tools this year to help teams collaborate better than ever before. One is a virtual tool that aims to make whiteboarding sessions more inclusive, productive and engaging. We’ve also rolled out our audio capabilities, which allows designers to talk to each other through Figma, rather than having to use external platforms outside of the files they’re working on.

What can we hope to see from Figma in the future?

We’re only just getting started and have substantial growth plans beyond the US, where now just half our revenue comes from. The focus is on working with the best technology talent out there, growing our relationship with our existing customers and acquiring new ones.

But the true driver behind Figma’s future plans is the design community; all product and future updates will be made based on their feedback. Our community is what inspires new ideas and lightbulb moments every single day.