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Aussie-Owned Canva Tipped To Be Next Adobe Design

Aussie-owned graphic design platform, Canva, is poised to dominate the online design space, with CEO Melanie Perkins tipped to emulate the success of Adobe Design, or even Microsoft Office.

Founded in 2014, Canva offers easy to navigate web-based design tools for those who aren’t literate in Photoshop or Adobe design suite and has caught the eye of American celebrities and investment funds alike.

Canva is the second Australian company to receive “unicorn status” — a moniker saved for private tech companies valued at over the US$1 billion — in January, and the company aims to grow tenfold.

In an interview with The Australian Financial ReviewCEO and Co-Founder Melanie Perkins admits the company has turned down acquisition offers.

“At each stage of Canva we have to think 10 to 100 times bigger than we are”

“That was a fact when there was only a few of us, and it’s still the same today. Our dreams are much bigger than the size of the company we are.”

Rick Baker, a partner at one of Canva’s first investors, Blackbird Ventures, believes the company could go the distance to become the next Adobe suite or even Microsoft Office.

“[With the top 20 tech companies in the world], the magic behind them … is a very strong core product that creates very strong cash flow, and then they have the ability to use the cash flow and expertise created around that to widen out their tech,” says Baker.

“If it can do that, we then start talking about products like Microsoft Office or Google apps, and it can become a platform based on a strong, cash-generative engine in its core graphic design product.”

CEO and Co-Founder Melanie Perkins.

To date, Canva has raised US$83 million in funding from investors including actors Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson.

It was reportedly difficult to get investors on board during Canva’s initial capital raising, but today investors are even flying to Australia to invest.

Apparently, the company has also received acquisition offers, but the founders are remaining tight-lipped.

Canva is free to use online, with certain designs available for a small fee. It also offers the Canva For Work application targeted at businesses which requires a monthly or annual subscription.

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