Graphic design app Canva raises $6 million in round funding


On Monday, an Australian startup Canva raised a funding of US$6 million led by Matrix Partners and Shasta Ventures from Silicon Valley and Asia-Pacific firms Blackbird Ventures and Air Tree Ventures.


The Australia based company Canva simplifies the process of graphic design for its users through its web app. Founded in 2013, the company began a service that lets anyone to easily and quickly create graphics, including slideshows, invitations, handouts, posters, infographics, Facebook Covers, cards, collages, blog graphics and more. During the span of 20 months the company user base has grown over 2.3 million. In the past six months, growth of the company has been increasing, with 65% of users signing up during this six months period. Users are creating designs in the rate of one design per second.

Now with the recent funding of $6 million from outside, the startup would be able to further accelerate its growth and development. Apart from the funding, the company has another news on its sleeve. It is also debuting its first commercial product aimed at the businesses using the platform with the ‘Canva for Work.’ Currently, the free app charges only for stock photography and fonts its users use.  “We think Canva for Work has the potential to entirely transform the way design works at every organization, from startups to Fortune 500 companies,” said the CEO and co-founded Melanie Perkins. She also added, “The funding is expected to be used to get Canva for Work into the hands of as many people as possible.”

Pricing and the specific functionality of the business version has not been revealed but it is said the new features will target workflow management and branding – improved channels of communication in the platform, and the ability to save consistent brand guidelines and templates. Canva for Work will charge a subscription fee for the business use and has ensured the Canva for individual users would continued to be free.  “We plan on continuing to offer the Canva that people know as a free product,” said Perkins. “Canva for Work will really extend the potential of Canva and make it much easier for individuals and teams to create beautifully branded marketing materials and documents,” she added.

The growth of the startup has been mainly attributed to the word-of-mouth, as users who liked its functionality and simplicity would pass it to others and so on. But the company is also trying to make use of the people’s interest to learn the skills of graphic designing. For instance, the company recently unveiled ‘Design School’ that brings to the users a range of educational content including tutorials, a daily blog and workshop materials for free.

“We have been impressed with Canva’s growth and the team’s execution on what is a mammoth vision,” says managing director of Shasha Ventures Tod Francis. “We are looking forward to continuing to work with the team as they focus on redefining how design is done.”