Adobe's doubling down on design and taking out a surging competitor in the space.

On Sept. 14, Adobe announced it will acquire the design platform, Figma, for $20 billion, easily its largest acquisition. Adobe acquired Marketo in 2018 for $4.75 billion, its largest before Figma. The Figma grab is up there in price tag in terms of recent acquisitions by Microsoft (LinkedIn, $26.2 billion) and Salesforce (Slack, $27.7 billion).

Company officials say the purchase will expand Adobe’s product portfolio with Figma’s web-based, multiplayer capabilities and accelerate the delivery of Adobe’s Creative Cloud technologies on the web.

“Adobe’s greatness has been rooted in our ability to create new categories and deliver cutting-edge technologies through organic innovation and inorganic acquisitions,” Shantanu Narayen, chairman and CEO of Adobe, said in a statement. “The combination of Adobe and Figma is transformational and will accelerate our vision for collaborative creativity.”

According to the press release announcing the merger, Figma has a total addressable market of $16.5 billion by 2025. The company is expected to add approximately $200 million in net new ARR this year, surpassing $400 million in total ARR exiting 2022.

Dylan Field, Figma’s co-founder and CEO, will continue to lead the Figma team, reporting to David Wadhwani, president of Adobe’s Digital Media business.

"With Adobe's amazing innovation and expertise, especially in 3D, video, vector, imaging and fonts, we can further reimagine end-to-end product design in the browser, while building new tools and spaces to empower customers to design products faster and more easily,” Field said in a statement.

Each company will continue to operate independently until the transaction closes in 2023.

In other customer experience and digital marketing software news ...

Stratifyd Gains $10M to Accelerate and Expand

Stratifyd, a customer experience analytics and insights platform, has announced Georgian’s expanded investment in the company leading a $10 million Series B3 funding round. Company officials said the investment will help accelerate its product roadmap, expand its presence in emerging vertical markets and enable it to hire key personnel.

In support of those goals, the company signed on two new members to the executive team. Eric Healy, formerly with the cybersecurity organization Aura, will serve as chief executive officer and Jake Darley, previously with Qualtrics, where he served as COO for North American Enterprise Sales within EmployeeXM, was named chief financial officer.

"Stratifyd is at a key phase in the company's growth and bringing in seasoned executives is critical to optimizing vertical expansion, customer satisfaction and overall scalability," Simon Chong, co-founder and lead investor at Georgian, said in a statement. "Eric and Jake are proven executives who have shaped growing companies into market leaders. We're confident that their leadership, combined with the appetite for Stratifyd's best-in-class products, will propel Stratifyd in the customer experience market."

According to Stratifyd officials, in their respective roles, Healy will lead a vision and growth strategy for Stratifyd's business and Darley will focus on creating operational efficiencies and financial best practices in an effort to accelerate growth.

"In an age of high customer churn rates, it's undeniable that improvements to the customer experience have a significant impact on business success; 84% of companies that focus on CX investments experience a corresponding increase in revenue," Healy said in a statement. “Stratifyd best-in-class products and solutions provide data analytics and capabilities that drive improved customer experiences across myriad industries. I look forward to working with the Board and the entire Stratifyd team to not only accelerate our growth but our overall impact in this market.”

Related Article: HubSpot Debuts CX Innovations at INBOUND, CVS Health to Acquire Signify Health for $8B, More News

Cledara Raises $20M, Plans US Expansion

On Sept. 12, Cledara, a software management platform, announced it closed a $20 million Series A funding round, led by CommerzVentures, with participation from Nauta Capital, Notion Capital, Carbide Ventures and Massive.

Company officials said the funding will allow them to invest in their platform, user experience and software management processes and accelerate their expansion in the United States.

With offices in Denver, London and Barcelona, Cledara’s co-founders, CEO Cristina Vila Vives and COO Brad van Leeuwen, said they will relocate to Denver to build on the company’s US presence.

Zesty Lands $75M to Reduce Cloud Costs and Maintain Performance

Zesty, an automated cloud optimization platform, has announced a $75 million Series B funding round led by B Capital and Series A investor Sapphire Ventures.

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Since it was founded in 2019, Zesty has raised a total of $116 million and has tripled its revenue since its Series A last year. 

According to company officials, the funding will allow for a reduction in cloud costs, maintaining app performance and providing engineers more resources to focus on developing new products and features.

“The cloud has become the foundation for critical functions for countless companies, but more often than not, DevOps teams are stuck with static infrastructure, like discount program commitments or allocated storage volumes that waste time and money," Maxim Melamedov, CEO and co-founder of Zesty, said in a statement. “This situation is no longer tenable in today's volatile economic environment, or any environment for that matter. DevOps teams shouldn't be wasting their time babysitting the cloud. That's why we're excited to help companies save significant resources, both financial and human. This investment will help us grow our team and further develop our products to meet the exploding demand for greater cloud flexibility.”

FEVO Partners With Harte Hanks as Exclusive CX Partner

FEVO, a social commerce tech company, has announced it will partner with the CX tech company, Harte Hanks, a customer experience company.

While Harte Hanks already provides a variety of services to FEVO, including client support, ticket fulfillment and back-office support, company officials say this latest partnership will solidify Harte Hanks as FEVO’s exclusive CX partner.

“We’re excited to partner with Harte Hanks as we keep the focus on the fans and brands who trust FEVO with their purchases,” Betty Tran, FEVO chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “To enhance our customer experience as our consumer base continues to grow, we look forward to introducing Harte Hanks’ services to FEVO partners in need.”

MeWe Nets $27M 

On Sept. 13, the social network MeWe announced it closed a $27-million investment round led by McCourt Global. The round included $12 million from previous investors and $15 million in strategic financing from McCourt Global.

Company officials said they will use the recent injection of capital to optimize social media, maintain data security and expand operations globally.

“As a values-driven company, we are pleased to have the support of values-driven investors,” MeWe Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Edell said in a statement. “This latest round of capital led by McCourt Global will help more people enjoy the benefits of a social media platform that doesn't exploit its members and sell their data. We are thrilled for this additional support that will allow us to grow MeWe's privacy and user-centered social media model even further.”

Chameleon Raises $13M to Improve SaaS Product 

Chameleon, a product adoption platform for software companies, has announced $13 million in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners. Previous investor True Ventures and operators including Kevin Wang (SVP product at Braze) and Kevin Mahaffey (co-founder at Lookout) also participated in the round. Funds will be used to scale the team to meet demand and develop new products and features.

“We see a future where SaaS applications look and behave differently for each individual user, leveraging data about background, intent and activity to provide dynamically adjusted and personalized UX that helps more people succeed,” Chameleon Co-founder and CEO Pulkit Agrawal said in a statement. “We are in Act I for this at Chameleon — enabling customers to create targeted in-product announcements, flows, banners, etc. but there is a lot more to come.”

Ilya Sukhar, GP at Matrix Partners, said the dramatic rise in SaaS products has raised customer expectations.

 “Everyone wants elegant, easy-to-use software that delivers value fast and doesn't require a lot of hand holding,” Sukhar said. “The team at Chameleon has built the best suite of no-code tools that SaaS product teams use to create delightful experiences and understand their customers. They've reached significant revenue on very little funding, and I'm excited to help them accelerate as the SaaS ecosystem gets focused on efficiency.”

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