Penpot Raises $8M to Keep Designers and Developers in Sync While They Build Beautiful Products
Penpot, an open-source, collaborative design and prototyping platform by Kaleidos, has raised $8M to build more features for designers and developers and nurture its growing community. Decibel led the round, with existing investor Athos Capital and a number of angels participating, including VSCO president and former Figma COO Eric Wittman, Cisco's VP of Developer Relations Strategy and Experience Grace Francisco, and Google Fonts leader Dave Crossland.
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Penpot design workspace (Graphic: Business Wire)
Penpot grew quickly after its launch last year to tens of thousands of downloads and over 15,000 stars on GitHub. Its creative freedom for designers, with a unique integration into the agile development ecosystem, makes Penpot an ideal collaborative tool that welcomes developers into the design process. Its on-premise option also made it attractive for large deployments. More than 10,000 companies use Penpot, including Google, Microsoft, Red Hat, Tencent, Bytedance and Mozila.
In the wake of Adobe's recent acquisition of Figma, that growth found exponential lift: designers flocked to Penpot, with more traffic in the first few hours of the news than in the entire past two months. Sign-ups skyrocketed 5,600 percent in a single day, and continue to grow. On-premise deployments grew 400 percent.
"Penpot is seeing unprecedented growth because designers and developers hate working within the silos and rigidity of traditional enterprise software," said Pablo Ruiz-Múzquiz, CEO and co-founder of Penpot. "Penpot gives them what they want: freedom, flexibility, and deep collaboration across domains. As an open-source company, we also want to ensure there is always a free alternative for everyone. This new funding will help us continue to showcase the power of open standards and interoperability by default."
Increasingly, teams need collaborative, interoperable software in order to build freely. Software silos, walled gardens and vendor lock-in have become blockers to progress. Penpot's mission is to demonstrate that open-source software can be the solution: functional, a joy to use, entirely within your control, easy to interoperate with collaborators, and still offering convenient SaaS options or the robustness, security, and control of on-premises solutions.
Decibel partner Sudip Chakrabarti sees Penpot's fast rise as a bellwether of the changing nature of collaboration and open source. "Open source is no longer an either/or but a yes/and. You can have delightful UX and full control over your software. You can have a robust platform with completely open standards that make it easier to collaborate with other stakeholders," said Chakrabarti. "Penpot has been committed to that vision from the very beginning and is showing the industry how it's done. We're thrilled to support them and help them put their foot on the gas to accelerate this movement."
The creators of Penpot, Kaleidos, have a track record of building community adoption and commercial success without sacrificing one for the other. Its other open-source project, project management tool Taiga, is used by more than a million people worldwide, including companies like HP, Red Hat, and Tata. Taiga's business model includes a generous free tier, SaaS on top of the open source project, and options for on-premise deployments self-hosted for free or managed by Kaleidos.
To sign up for a free Penpot account and set up a SaaS or customizable self-managed deployment, visit https://penpot.app/.
Kaleidos is an open-source startup founded in 2011 by a group of developers who worked together in the technology consultancy world. The COVID pandemic saw them becoming a 100% open-source product company. They have a non-negotiable mission to generate positive impact in society through open source software and innovation. Their sole focus is the development and optimization of their two open-source products meant for digital cross-functional teams: Penpot, the first open-source design and prototyping platform and Taiga, the project management tool for agile teams.
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