Led by CEO Clark Valberg, the company is designating $5 million to invest in startups working in the design space.
“The world is giving birth to all of these little design tools meant to make the world of design better,” said Valberg. “We think of InVision as the Salesforce of the design world, giving us the opportunity to embrace and integrate and click design customers into one seamless workflow.”
As part of the fund, InVision will participate in equity investment in net new design tools. That might include participating in rounds led by institutional VCs or investing in “things worth incubating ourselves,” according to Valberg.
InVision also sees the opportunity to give $100K to $300K grants to folks building plug-ins specifically for the InVision platform.
InVision hit the scene in 2011 looking for a way to give designers rapid prototyping tools. Once upon a time, designers and engineers would go back and forth for weeks or months to get a product’s functionality and aesthetics on the same page.
With the ability to add animations and transitions, designers could share their work with the entire organization or external clients to get feedback.
The company has since grown to service 80 percent of the Fortune 100, according to InVision, with over 3 million users at companies like Airbnb, Disney, and Nike. Moreover, 70 percent of InVision users aren’t designers, showing just how important design is across an entire organization.
In October, InVision announced the launch of Studio, a design product meant to take on the likes of Photoshop and Sketch. And in November, InVision raised $100 million in Series E funding. As part of the Studio launch, Valberg mentioned the opportunity to sell mini-tools and content within a Studio application store.
The InVision fund is meant to foster the design community as InVision grows. But, perhaps more importantly, InVision’s investment in smaller design tools could put them in a power position within the greater design ecosystem. Adobe also has a venture fund with portfolio companies that include Shutterfly, Netscape, and Sendmail.
Alongside Valberg, the InVision fund will also be led by Stephen Olmstead, the Vice President of Design Partnerships at InVision, as well as FirstMark Capital’s Amish Jani.