31 October 2022
The news of Adobe acquiring Figma for a whopping sum of USD 20B took over the world like wildfire. However, the acquisition announcement has numerous upset investors. The shockwaves reached Wall Street as the company suffered a 20% dip in the stock market, the worst it has ever faced since 2010. Despite that, many are curious to know if Canva is next on Adobe’s hit list.
While the Figma acquisition may ultimately bring the designers the best of both worlds, investors see the move as a desperate measure from Adobe, considering the generous sum involved in the deal. The president of Adobe Digital Media Business, David Wadhwani, defends the deal saying “The market opportunity here is massive. This was a great time to make that play.”
On Sept 15, 2022, the design software giant Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) announced its planned acquisition deal with Figma Inc., another renowned design software firm known for its web-based collaborative design application. While the speculations surrounding the sudden deal are still going on, experts believe that the move was Adobe’s attempt to save itself from becoming forgotten in the newer market while ruling out its competitor.
The design tools offered by Figma are planned with the end-user in mind and focused on providing quality with ease of access. The multi-player web-based application allows designers to work remotely on a project with excellent tools required by today’s designers as the world of digital designs becomes more complex.
In contrast, Adobe’s outdated and overpriced tools were gradually diminishing in demand as these tools also required intense training before one could get a hold of the design functions. Today’s in-demand designers need innovation and pace along with affordability, in short, the best of all worlds, that Adobe’s products severely lack.
Since Figma entered the industry in 2012, founded by Dylan Field and Evan Wallace, it has been regarded as the toughest Adobe competitor, breaking the latter’s chokehold on the design industry. Figma made the once closed industry approachable for everyone who has an interest and a knack for design.
The Figma acquisition deal will likely be finalised in 2023 with the fulfilment of pending regulations.
Now that Figma’s out of the way, all eyes are on Adobe’s next contender, Canva.
Canva is an Australia-based graphic design app introduced in 2012. The platform allows millions of graphic designers and digital marketing companies a way to share uniquely designed images for widespread use.
Canva’s fame can be attributed to its ease of accessibility via different app stores and user-friendly app design, along with unique design tools that make the design process rather straightforward. Therefore, Canva is a much-preferred design tool for the newer generation entering the design industry.
Adobe tried to match Canva’s uncomplicated user interface and easy design process by launching Adobe Express on different platforms for free use. The multi-purpose app was a great way of attaining an audience interested in more hobbyist work rather than expert professional design projects. However, Canva remained superior due to its appeal to a wider and more diverse range of audiences as it offered tools in numerous digital product categories.
While Canva has already shown Adobe its worth and widespread appeal as a competitor, the platform is now aiming for positions where big names of the IT industry, such as Google and Microsoft, have their firm hold. However, bringing too many changes in a short time can severely backfire for Canva, and experts are questioning the company’s efforts of launching collaborative tools and a word-processing unit named Docs.
Adobe’s only advantage over Canva is its serious design tools that professional designers appreciate and have become accustomed to, regardless of the prices associated with the services. Moreover, design companies continue using Adobe’s services as the prime design software in professional settings. The long-held appeal for expert designers and the sophistication of tools makes Adobe a strong contender and a preferred service in the market.
As the competition between the two leading design software firms is neck-to-neck, the chances for one to surrender in the already volatile market are slim to none. Apart from that, the hefty sum that Adobe is already paying for acquiring Figma is enough to keep another acquisition at bay for now.
With Canva’s recent product and service launches, an acquisition doesn’t seem like an immediate plan nor an option for now, as the company is ready to create some new tides on its own. Will Adobe rule the design space as the only King once again? Only time will tell.
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