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Youthful entrepreneur Dylan Field raises $3.8 million dollars for his startup Figma

Peter Thiel’s 20-under-20 pro­gram is already bear­ing fruit as news breaks that one of its young fel­lows, 21-year-old Dylan Field, has raised $3.8 mil­lion to boost his start­up, Fig­ma. But the inquis­i­tive prod­uct man­ag­er want­i­ng to know more about Fig­ma will have to remain in the dark for now, as young Dylan is declin­ing to say any­thing about it in inter­views just yet.

Youth­ful tal­ent gets a boost

Sil­i­con Val­ley bil­lion­aire Peter Thiel opened his 20-under-20 pro­gram in 2011, award­ing 20 of the most tal­ent­ed young entre­pre­neurs with $100,000 each to devel­op new tech ideas. Dylan gained his award last year, and a clue for curi­ous prod­uct man­agers about his idea comes from the Thiel Fel­low­ship web­site, which states:

“Dylan is build­ing a brows­er based pho­to edit­ing tool with his friend Evan Wallace.”

Young entre­pre­neurs with tech­ni­cal verve are doing rather well right now. Snapchat’s founders, for exam­ple, all of them under 25, man­aged to raise an addi­tion­al $60 mil­lion in Series B last week, so Sil­i­con Val­ley does appear to be in a deep busi­ness romance with the most tal­ent­ed young­sters for the time being.

For such a youth­ful entre­pre­neur, Dylan has accrued enough expe­ri­ence to induce a twinge of envy in even the most sea­soned prod­uct man­ag­er, hav­ing worked at LinkedIn, Microsoft Research, Flip­board, O’Reilly Media and Indinero. To con­cen­trate on his new brain­child, he’s stopped out of his junior year at Brown Uni­ver­si­ty, where he was study­ing com­put­er sci­ence and math.

Dylan and Goliath

Despite Dylan’s ret­i­cence to dis­cuss his new com­pa­ny pub­licly just yet, there’s a clue as to what Fig­ma is all about from an inter­view he gave for the Today show in August last year. He wants to use tech­nol­o­gy to help peo­ple release their “inner artist” by devel­op­ing an in-brows­er photo-editor.

He said, “So the idea is to basi­cal­ly let peo­ple express them­selves cre­ative­ly online. So I think every­one has this inner artist, and we sup­press that artist because our taste is so high but our skill lev­el is a lit­tle low­er. But I think the delta between that can be changed, fixed with tech­nol­o­gy. What we’re doing imme­di­ate­ly is an in-brows­er pho­to editor.”

He’s got some hefty com­pe­ti­tion to reck­on with if that’s what Fig­ma is aim­ing for, like the Google+ Goliath with its new pho­to-edi­tor, but $3.8 mil­lion will sure­ly help.

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