UPDATED 23:35 EDT / APRIL 06 2021

APPS

Australian graphic design tool startup Canva raises $71M on $15B valuation

Australian graphic design tool startup Canva Pty. Ltd. said today it has raised $71 million in new funding on a $15 billion valuation, making it the largest startup to come from the country since Atlassian Corp. plc.

The round was led by T. Rowe Price and Dragoneer and included Blackbird Ventures and Skip Capital.

Founded in 2012, Canva is a graphic design software solutions provider that helps users to design presentations, social media graphics and more with various layouts, images, photo filters, icons and shapes, and fonts. The company’s platform combines a drag-and-drop design tool with a stock library of photographs, illustrations and imagery.

Canva claims more that 55 million monthly active users. It’s a cliche at this point to say that it has thrived thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic but Canva did, seeing a 130% year-over-year rise in annual revenue — and unlike a lot of high-growth startups, it’s profitable.

According to the Australian Financial Review, Canva has 1,500 employees, including 600 based at its headquarters in Sydney, New South Wales, and now has more than 3 million paying customers. Notable Canva clients included American Airlines Inc., Intel Corp. and PayPal Holdings Inc.

“We’re placing a bet that Canva will be the visual communication platform for people working in all sorts of companies, in all sorts of scenarios,” Canva co-founder Cameron Adams told AFR.

Although it’s arguably the best-known tech startup in Australia in 2021, Canva has not been without issues.

In 2019 it was reported that 139 million Canva customer records had been stolen. As noted at the time, the company was slow to notice it had been hacked and reacted only after the news went public. To make matters worse, Canva was alleged to have buried the details of the hack in an email that the AFR described as “marketing fluff.”

The hack of Canva was attributed to GnosticPlayers, a hacking group that was prolific several years ago and was linked to the hacking of sites and services including GfyCat, FitnessPal, MyHeritage, ShareThis and Coffee Meets Bagel.

Including the new round, Canva has raised $372.6 million to date, according to data from Crunchbase.

Photo: hanuska/Flickr

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