True Ventures has led a $5 million Series A funding round in UXPin, a wireframing and prototyping tool. The company began in Poland and later located in the U.S.
Wireframing and prototyping tool UXPin announced today a $5 million Series A round led by True Ventures. The company, which began in Poland and later came to the U.S., is the one of the few Polish startups to get Series A funding in the United States.
UXPin seeks to empower design-centric organizations because it’s no secret that design is good for business. In the past 10 years, design-led companies have held significant advantage in the stock market — outperforming the S&P by 228 percent. And every $1 invested in UX returns up to $100. IBM spent $100 million to bolster its design efforts, which included hiring 1,000 people. Traditionally engineering-focused companies are gobbling up all the design talent they can. That creates a need for a tool in which non-designers can easily collaborate with designers.
UXPin is that tool. It’s a collaboration platform that allows everyone — designers, PMs, developers, marketers, business analysts and CEOs — to participate in any stage of the design process. Designers can share links to the work, which allows them to collaborate and present with teammates or clients in real time.
At the same time, UXPin is a user experience design tool that supports the designer’s entire workflow. Built by designers for designers, it allows anyone to transform concepts into lifelike prototypes, crafting a more cohesive experience for any products or services. UXPin offers designers over 900 pre-made UI templates and patterns, custom reusable elements, and a drag-and-drop interface that drastically reduces the learning curve.
The tool is used by top companies such as Microsoft, NBC, USA Today, Sony and Adidas. Even design agencies, such as Barrel in New York, use the tool to better communicate with stakeholders. They can quickly create a wireframe — a scaffolding of a website — then shoot it off to a stakeholder, who can then comment directly on it or share it with others for feedback. This makes communication faster and easier between the designer and the non-designers on the team.
Collaboration is a central element of UXPin. After all, the tool was born out of a need for collaboration by three people working closely together at an e-commerce company in Eastern Europe. They were collaborating day in and day out with paper prototypes. Eventually, they decided there had to be another way — a means of mixing paper prototypes and wireframes for a better collaborative experience. What started out as an evolution of the paper prototype led to UXPin, which now splits its team between Poland and Mountain View. Before True Ventures, UXPin was initially funded by Innovation Nest in Poland, which encouraged the company to have more of a US presence.
“Collaboration is an essential component of design. You can’t have a design-centric organization without it. As more and more organizations hire designers and involve more people in the design process, there’s a need for a tool that will foster collaboration,” said Marcin Treder, Co-founder and CEO of UXPin. “UXPin is that collaborative platform that allows everyone to participate in every part of the design process, from designers to developers to marketers to business analysts.”
“As a designer, I’ve been seeing the way we work collide with the way we lead our social lives online: it’s collaborative and done in real time,” said Jeff Veen, design partner at True Ventures. “That’s exactly what it’s like to use UXPin, and some of the best designers I know were already using it. We jumped at the chance to invest in this company and are thrilled to be partnering with them.”
UXPin empowers design thinking in any organization, and the UXPin team believes that good design is good business. In recent years, even the most engineering-driven companies, such as IBM, have embraced design-driven processes by hiring hundreds of designers. UXPin makes it simple for anyone to connect and create better products together by democratizing design.
Since its debut in 2010, UXPin has created the largest free online design library with 34 e-books growing at one per week. UXPin’s product team has also published design articles in top publications like FastCo Design, The Next Web and Smashing Magazine.
About the investors
Founded in 2005, True Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology startups. With four funds and approximately $900 million in capital under management, True provides seed and Series A funding to the most talented entrepreneurs in today’s fastest growing markets. With a mission to make the world a better place for entrepreneurs, True encourages each founder’s vision and has built resources to empower the employees, families and communities of its portfolio companies. The firm maintains a strong founder community and offers innovative educational opportunities to its portfolio, helping entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of success and impact. With more than 150 companies funded and multiple companies acquired, the current True portfolio has helped create over 3,500 jobs. To learn more about True Ventures, visit www.trueventures.com.
Founded in 2010, UXPin is a user experience design tool that spans the entire designer’s workflow. With teams in both Poland and Silicon Valley, UXPin is true collaborative platform that allows entire teams to participate in the design process. Teams can design, collaborate on and present both high- and low-fidelity, fully-interactive wireframes and prototypes. With a mission to help others design better user experiences, UXPin has created the largest free online design library with 34 e-books, growing one per week. UXPin’s product team has also published design articles in top publications, such as FastCo Design, The Next Web and Smashing Magazine. The tool is used by top companies such as Microsoft, NBC, USA Today, Sony and Adidas. To learn more about UXPin, visit www.uxpin.com.