At Sketch our focus has always been on empowering designers to create their best work with as a little friction as possible. Over one million paying users—from freelancers to some of the world’s largest companies—are now using Sketch to transform their ideas into products. This, our very first, round of funding will allow us to focus on a whole new set of challenges and build an even better product for designers and their teams.
We felt it was important to take the opportunity to talk about what this fundraising means and what’s next for the platform you love.
Breaking the rules
When we started Sketch back in 2011, the design landscape was very different to the one we know now. Innovation had all but stopped and existing tools were not serving designers’ needs. We stepped into the market and broke it open, paving the way for a new wave of design tools, built on top of our open plugin system, and Sketch became the foundation of what design is today.
Building on a strong foundation
With the introduction of key features such as Symbols and Libraries we kickstarted the movement towards Design Systems — allowing designers to standardise their assets and create consistency and predictability (the hallmarks of good design) across more screens and products than ever before.
Here are some highlights from 2018:
- Crossed 1,000,000 paying customers — We achieved an historic milestone with over a million designers now using Sketch.
- We supercharged Libraries by allowing you to upload and share them via Sketch Cloud, and made significant improvements to Symbol overrides — giving you more control over which overrides are exposed and letting you override more elements than ever before.
- We introduced Prototyping and made it super easy to share working prototypes via Sketch Cloud.
- We released Sketch 52, our biggest update ever, introducing Dark Mode support, a full UI redesign and the ability to add real Data to your designs including people and place names, images and more. Our partnership with Unsplash showed off the potential of this exciting new feature.
While we’re proud of how far we’ve come, we know there is still work to do. At Sketch we understand designers and their problems and we know that there are key areas, like collaboration, where more focus is needed.
With that in mind, we are incredibly pleased to announce that we have raised $20 million in Series A funding from Benchmark. This represents our first capital raise since we started working on Sketch nearly 10 years ago and we’re sure you’re asking, “why now?”
Simply put, this will allow us to serve your needs better, faster. Benchmark has been on this journey many times before with companies like Elastic, Twitter, Uber and Zendesk. With such an impressive track record, we think they’re the perfect partner to help us create and scale the best version of the Sketch platform.
Collaboration is key
- Team Collaboration: Available Early This Summer. We want to empower designers to work more closely together and our first step towards this goal will be the launch of Sketch for Teams, available early this summer. As you and your colleagues collaborate through Sketch Cloud, we want to make it the place where all your documents live and in doing so we’ll integrate Cloud deeper into Sketch — bringing things like annotations and comments from your team directly into the app.
- Bringing Sketch to the Browser: Starting Late 2019. And just as we’re bringing more of Cloud to Sketch, we want to close the loop by taking more of Sketch to the Cloud. We’re going to render the entire document, add developer handoff, and allow rich editing along with collaboration, all without leaving the browser.
We are incredibly excited about what lies ahead and we’re so grateful to everyone who has joined us on this journey so far. Please continue to give us your feedback to help us make Sketch better for Designers like you. More soon!