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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Canva: Australian online design platform valued at $40bn


Australian graphic design business Canva has become one of the world’s biggest privately-owned companies after being valued at $40bn (£29bn).

According to the online design platform, it grew during the pandemic as more customers worked from home.

It has announced a new $200 million round of private equity investment, more than doubling the company’s value in five months.

According to analysts, this makes it one of the world’s most valuable start-ups.

Canva’s $40 billion valuation places it fifth in the world, behind China’s ByteDance, which owns TikTok, Jack Dorsey’s payment platform Stripe, Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX, and Swedish financial technology firm Klarna, according to business data provider CB Insights.

The funding also places its co-founders among Australia’s top ten wealthiest people.

Melanie Perkins, 34, and Cliff Obrecht, 35, founded Canva in Sydney in 2013.

According to Forbes, they own approximately 36% of the company.

They also announced on Wednesday that they planned to donate the vast majority of the stake – roughly 30% of the company’s wealth – to charitable causes.

Canva offers design templates that allow users to create everything from greeting cards to posters, resumes, and calendars.

Also on Wednesday, the company announced that it had increased its customer base to over 60 million users in 190 countries and was on track to generate $1 billion in revenue by the end of the year.

It claimed to have 500,000 paying customers, including corporate clients such as Zoom, Salesforce, Paypal, Marriott International, and American Airlines, all of which said they had increased their use of Canva’s design technology in the previous year.

“From large enterprises to small businesses, the shift to distributed working has seen team adoption more than quadruple over the last 12 months,” the company said in a press release, referring to the number of businesses that have adopted its software.

T.Rowe Price led its most recent funding round, and other investors included Franklin Templeton, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Bessemer Venture Partners, Greenoaks Capital, Dragoneer Investments, Blackbird, Felicis, and AirTree Ventures.

The company has also more than doubled its workforce this year, with headquarters in Sydney and Manila, and plans to hire more than 1,000 new employees by 2021.

Canva, which became profitable in 2017 and was valued at $1 billion the following year, is now one of Australia’s most valuable companies.

Its valuation is comparable to that of publicly traded companies such as supermarket giants Wesfarmers and Woolworths Group, as well as mining company Fortescue.

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