You ‘d be difficult pressed to socialize with a designer and not hear the
name Figma. The business behind the mainly browser-based design tool has made a big splash in the previous few years, developing a massive war chest with more than $130 million from investors like A16Z, Sequoia, Greylock, Kleiner Perkins and Index.
The company was established in 2012 and spent several years in stealth, raising both its seed and Series A without having any public item or user metrics.
At Early Phase, we consulted with co-founder and CEO Dylan Field about the procedure of employing and fundraising while in stealth and how life at the company altered following its launch in 2016. Field, who was 20 when he established the business, likewise discussed the lessons he’s learned from his group about management. Chief amongst them: the value of empowering the people you hire.
You can check out the full conversation in the video ingrained listed below, as well as a gently edited transcript.
Raising a Series A a year behind schedule while still in stealth
I in fact had approached John Lilly from Greylock in our seed round. For those who do not understand, John Lilly was the CEO of Mozilla and an amazing person. He’s on a lot of really cool boards and has a bunch of interesting experience for Figma, with extremely deep roots in design. I had approached him for the seed round, and he essentially said to us, “You know, I do not think you people understand what you’re doing, however I’m really intrigued, so let’s stay connected. “This is the popular line that you speak with every investor ever. It’s like”Yeah, let’s stay connected, let me understand if I can be handy.”Often, they in fact mean it. In John’s case, he really would follow up every few months or I would follow up with him. We ‘d get coffee, and he helped me develop the technique to a point that got us to what we are today. And that was a partnership. I might really learn a lot from him on that one. When we started the concept was: Let’s have
this worldwide community around style, and you’ll have the ability to use the tool to publish to the community and sooner or later we’ll consider how people can pay us. Talking with John got me to the point where I understood we require to start with an organisation tool. We’ll construct the neighborhood later. Now, we’re beginning to work toward that. Eventually, John told me,”Hey, if you ever think about
raising again, let me know.”A couple of weeks later, I informed him possibly we would raise because I simply wished to deal with him. We talked to a few other financiers. I think it’s quite essential that there’s constantly a competitive dynamic in the round. Actually, it was simply him that we were really thinking about for that round. He truly did us a solid. He really believed in us. At the time, it wasn’t like there were metrics to take a look at. He had conviction in the space, a conviction in the attack, and he had conviction in me and Evan, which I feel really, very honored by. He’s a dear coach to this day, and he’s on our board. And it’s been a really deep relationship.
How to recruit while in stealth mode
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.