The Troubled Split: What the Adobe-Figma Breakup Tells us About Startup M&A in the Future

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Venture capitalists and founders were already worried about exits after Visa’s $5.6 billion acquisition of Plaid in 2020 was canceled after a tough battle with regulators. Still, Figma and Plaid are only two examples of startups being impacted by antitrust and competition regulations in recent history. Yet, since the Adobe-Figma news broke this morning, discourse is already leaning towards how this will hurt startup liquidity; some VCs are even saying that large startup acquisitions are going to be off the table. But if you look at the data around startup M&A, that sentiment feels more like fear mongering than an actual reflection of what the startup exit market looks like. In fact, the vast majority of startup deals look nothing like the Figma or Plaid deals.