Graphic Design Startup Canva Raises $71 Million at a $15 Billion Valuation

By Mariliana Fotopoulou Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Graphic design startup company Canva has raised $71 million in a new funding round led by T. Rowe Price and Dragoneer, taking its business valuation to as much as $15 billion.

Canva website on a laptop.

Graphic Design Business Rising at a Rapid Pace

The Australian company said it remains profitable and pointed out it garnered $500 million in annualized business revenue, representing an increase of 130% compared to a year ago. The company plans to use the new proceeds to invest in its product and hire more employees. Canva has recently opened an office in Austin, Texas, and hired new talent in San Francisco.

After the new round, Canva co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins and co-founder and COO Cliff Obrecht became billionaires. Other business backers included existing investors Blackbird Ventures and Skip Capital, among others.

Perkins and Obrecht had controlled around 15% of the graphic design startup company each before the new funding. Given that the Australian business is now valued at roughly $15 billion, Perkins and Obrecht are estimated to hold stakes worth more than $2 billion each.

Obrecht and Perkins would like to start a foundation to help fight climate change and global wealth inequality.

“It’s not our vibe to hoard money. What motivates us is building a product that people love. And the wealth that produces, we want to give back to the world,” Obrecht said.

The graphic design startup company was launched in 2013. Six years later, Canva became a major global graphic design business that served 20 million users in December 2019. Last June, the startup company was valued at $6 billion after it raised $60 million.

About two years later, the number of active users more than doubled to 55 million, with 3 million of them paid. At first, the startup offered simple graphic design tools to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) design menus and Instagram posts. Canva is known to have one of the most easy-to-use logo maker tools.

In the meantime, Canva has grown into a real-time collaboration suite. According to the startup, over 85% of the top 500 US-based companies by business revenue use its platform. The company introduced new real-time tools used for live team editing of videos and other digital content, which have boosted the adoption of the platform.

Some of Canva’s big-name customers include American Airlines, Kimberly-Clark, McKinsey, and Salesforce. The company’s presentations feature has been widely used during the pandemic, particularly by larger companies, thanks to its efficient presenter video recording tools and a live Q&A-friendly version.

“The pandemic has accelerated trends that were naturally happening today,” said Obrecht. He adds that some of the reasons behind the new funding are employee and investor liquidity, as well as business acquisitions.

“It solidifies a new valuation when buying companies. It’s hard for us otherwise to say, ‘we were worth $6 billion a year ago, now we are worth $15 billion.’ It’s a healthy dynamic,” he concluded.

Summary

The graphic design startup company Canva raised $71 million in the latest funding round to reach a business valuation of $15 billion.


About the Author

Headshot for author Mariliana Fotopoulou

Mariliana has an MSC in consumer analytics and business strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and big data.

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