Business Tech

Australian graphic design platform Canva reaches valuation of $40 billion

Australian graphic design business Canva has reached a valuation of more than $40 billion.

The online design platform said it had grown during the pandemic as more customers worked from home.

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

That makes it one of the world’s most valuable start-ups, analysts say.

According to business data provider CB Insights, Canva’s $40 billion valuation makes it the fifth-most valuable start-up in the world, behind China’s ByteDance, which owns TikTok, payment platform Stripe, Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX and Swedish financial technology firm Klarna.

The funding also places its co-founders among the top 10 richest people in Australia.

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

Together they own about 36% of the company, according to Forbes.

On Wednesday, they announced that they also intended to give away the vast majority of the stake – about 30% of the company’s wealth – to charitable causes.

Canva provides design templates for people to make everything from greetings cards to posters, resumes and calendars.

Also on Wednesday, the firm said it had grown its customer base to over 60 million users in 190 countries, and was on track to post $1 billion revenue by the end of the year.

It said it had 500,000 paying customers, among them corporate clients like Zoom, Salesforce, Paypal, Marriott International and American Airlines, which the firm said had all increased their use of Canva’s design technology in the past 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 companies taking up its software.

The firm has also doubled its workforce this year, hiring more than 1,000 new employees in 2021, with headquarters in Sydney and Manila.

Canva, which became profitable in 2017 and achieved a $1 billion valuation a year later, is now one of Australia’s most valuable companies.