Design is subjective and preferences vary from person to person. However, one thing we can agree on is that there has been a wide variability in the tools that are used to design and manage the process which is often arduous. Enter InVision, a complete design and project management tool that allows your whole team to collaborate easier with rapid prototyping on web and mobile projects. Already sporting an impressive roster of customers like Disney, and IBM, the Flatiron-based startup founded in 2011 just raised an impressive Series D round to further simplify the design process.
Today we sit down with cofounder and CEO Clark Valberg to discuss the large void that InVision is filling in the marketplace as well as the latest mega round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $55 million in Series D funding. ICONIQ Capital led the round, joined by existing investors Accel Partners and FirstMark Capital. This investment brings InVision’s total funding to $135 million since it was founded in 2011.
Tell us about your product or service.
InVision is the world’s leading product design platform. Both individuals (we recently reached 2 million users) and companies, including teams at Disney, IBM, CapitalOne and Twitter, use InVision to prototype, review, refine, manage and user test web and mobile products, all without a single line of code.
What inspired you to start the company?
I was working at a design agency early in my career when I identified a serious problem with feedback and review of client work. Companies were spending A LOT of money and time pursuing incorrect assumptions. They would develop an idea, engineer it, launch it, and only then understand the way their users responded (or didn’t). I found the whole process frustrating — we were changing the bricks of the house after they had been laid vs. when the design was a blueprint.
We imagined a tool that would allow multiple people to weigh in during the crucial design phase of a software project, rather than griping about poor implementations after the fact. Fast forward to today and that product is InVision, a design platform that turns mock-ups into interactive prototypes, allowing teams to short-circuit the development process and immediately get feedback from users and stakeholders.
How is it different?
InVision delivers an end-to-end collaborative platform that helps teams move seamlessly from ideation, to screen design, prototyping, collaboration, project management and development. Many of the smartest companies in the world, including Twitter, Netflix, Hubspot and Amazon use InVision to power their product design process from start to finish.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We aim to serve every company that has a screen that is important to their business. Given our increasingly digital lives, we believe that this will be every company in the world.
What’s your business model?
Individuals and teams can try InVision at no cost and then upgrade to one of our paid plans over time. As more people inside an organization begin to use InVision, they will often graduate to one of our enterprise plans.
What is the most popular feature of InVision?
Management of project feedback. Clients and design teams can conveniently provide comments directly on a prototype. These are collated in one convenient location, so you never lose track of ideas.
What was the funding process like?
We were in a strong financial position prior to this round and didn’t need to raise money. However we were approached by a number of investors and saw an opportunity to expand our range of options and pace of progress as we continue to build out the InVision platform.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
ICONIQ shares our vision that the screen is becoming the most important place in the world — that we spend more time with the devices in our pockets and on our desks than anywhere else. Digital screens are the way we spend our time and money more than ever, which means that digital product design is more important to businesses than ever. Our investors see that helping businesses solve this problem is an enormous opportunity and that, with over 2 million users and revenue more than doubling year over year, InVision is well on its way to realizing that opportunity.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
One of the milestones we’re most looking forward to is releasing Inspect, a new feature that will solve the difficult hand-off of designs to engineers. Inspect will dramatically reduce the time that designers and engineers spend translating design files into code-ready assets, ensuring handoff is more accurate and less frustrating. Inspect is currently in private beta with over 1,000 enthusiastic designers.