Startup design platform Canva raises $60M in new funding

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Canva has raised $60M for its design platform
Image: Canva

Graphic design tools like Photoshop are excellent for users that know what they’re doing. For those who don’t have a degree in design or the time to invest hours in learning a complex piece of software, there are other solutions. A startup called Canva is one of them. It offers a design platform of the same name that makes it easy for non-designers to make stunning graphics and promotional materials.

On Monday, Canva announced that it has raised an additional $60 million. The cash injection brings its new valuation to a highly impressive $6 billion.

Pulling in the Funding

Canva is no stranger to raising money. To date, the ambitious startup has brought in more than $300 million from investors. Its latest round includes participation from investors like Bond, General Catalyst, Sequoia Capital, Felicis Ventures, and Blackbird Ventures.

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Notably, Canva’s COO and co-founder Cliff Obrecht says that the funding round was ten times oversubscribed. Both angel investors and venture capitalists had interest in participating but the startup decided not to take extra capital.

“At our stage, investors are looking to deploy $50 million+ in capital. Even our existing investors were looking to deploy between $50 million and $100 million, but we said ‘Oh, gee, we really don’t want to be diluted that much because we have a lot of conviction in the business and we don’t need that much money,’” says Obrecht.

He also noted that Canva wanted to stay true to its original investors—Sequoia and Blackbird—since they were willing to take a chance on the startup in its early days.

Canva has big plans for its new funding. For one, it aims to continue growing the company and making new acquisitions. In the coming days, Canva will also make a push into collaboration to make its platform more intuitive for teams.

The startup is looking to hire new team members with part of the funding. Right now, it has more than 1,000 employees and has committed to paying its workers throughout the pandemic. When COVID-19 first arrived, the startup temporarily froze hiring. So, the new funding should help it get out of that slump.

Design for the Rest of Us

While the coronavirus pandemic has forced Canva to shift its operations to a work-from-home format, it hasn’t harmed the design startup. In fact, it has seen a 50 percent uptick in shared designs and a 25 percent increase in designs being created. That is likely because more people are dabbling with design while social distancing at home.

Canva is growing at an impressive rate of 100 percent year-over-year in terms of both revenue and users. It has more than 30 million monthly users located in 190 countries worldwide.

The startup was founded in 2012 with hopes of lowering the barrier to entry for graphic design. Its suite of design tools was originally “freemium” software but now includes offerings for enterprise clients and a video editing tool.

Recently, Canva partnered with FedEx Office to give users an easy way to design and print designs at more than 2,000 U.S. locations. With its new funding in hand, things are looking brighter than ever for Canva. Keep an eye on this startup as it continues to shake up the industry.

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