It would be quite easy as a fellow startup to roll your eyes at even “more” ground-breaking news about Canva. The fact is, when you have as much traction as they do in a particular industry, press coverage is warranted.
Multiple rumours have reached the ears of Startup Daily that James Packer and Rupert Murdoch have been keeping a close eye on the Sydney based design startup. This is hardly surprising, given they kept a close eye on Seek.com.au, RealEstate.com.au and TradeMe in the business’ early days before making their move.
If that isn’t a major compliment, today Canva announced that it has raised $3.6 million in funding – adding to the $3 million in seed funding Canva secured last year. In addition to this, they’ve just hit another milestone – exceeding 600,000 users. This is why they are the startup to watch not just in Australia, but globally right now.
Founders Fund and Shasta Ventures have joined existing investors Matrix Partners, Blackbird Ventures and Square Peg Capital in this funding round. That’s a very solid mix of both local and international capital. The new players mean that investor royalty have now come on board the Canva train, in Paypal founder Peter Thiel.
Shasta Ventures also brings with them a strong team with a solid track record – in particular Tod Francis who has made investments in ZEFR, Taskrabbit and Mint, as well as Sean Flynn who in addition to Taskrabbit was also a key investor in Dollar Shave Club and Simple co-founded by Australian entrepreneur Josh Reich.
On the latest capital raise, existing investor and Square Peg Capital Co-founder Paul Bassat says, “The team has made remarkable progress in delivering on that vision since Canva’s launch in 2013 and we are excited to have the opportunity to make a further investment in their current round.”
Two weeks ago in my post on why Guy Kawasaki joined Canva, I alluded to a new feature call the “button” that they would be launching. At the time I said I didn’t really understand the value proposition of the new feature. Now that I’ve had a chance to look behind the scenes and really understand the functionality, it is definitely a game changer. I don’t say that lightly either. In fact, this “button” will be the driving force that takes Canva to the 1-million-users and beyond mark.
The ‘Canva Button’ is a simple new plug-in for third-party websites which allows their users to create their own graphics. For instance, a business like Campaign Monitor would be able to integrate it into their platform so that users can create their own e-newsletter designs. The possibilities are endless.
In fact, Canva has established a series of partnerships with companies including GoDaddy, Tailwind, Agora Pulse, Post Planner, and TabSite. At each company’s’ website, users will be able to create Canva graphics without leaving their page.
Here is an explainer clip:
(Side Note: Kudos to Canva on their explainer videos, they have a Google-esque quality to them.)
“Every site that allows users to upload content, whether it’s a Web app, ecommerce provider or ad network, wants their users to have beautiful graphics,” said Canva CEO Melanie Perkins. “However it’s almost impossible to create something that looks good without knowing how to use professional design tools.”
“Instead of just offering an ‘Upload’ button and expecting users to figure out the rest, the Canva Button enables a website’s users to easily create graphics without leaving their page. We want this to be accessible to everyone so the button is free and can be implemented with just a few lines of code.”
It will be interesting to see which websites start installing this feature. But it’s certain that this feature will put Canva in front of hundreds of thousands of new users – if not millions – that are yet to discover the platform.
Canva’s success in such a short period of time has been phenomenal to watch. It wouldn’t be a surprise to us if they became the next Google – in the sense that you can’t go a day without using it.
The Canva Button will be rolled out on partner websites over the coming weeks. Interested partners can apply at about.canva.com/button.
Originally published as ‘Canva announces $3.6 million Series A and launches game changing button feature’ – note: Canva weren’t looking to raise at this point, however due to investor interest decided to take on some additional funding now. Not a Series A round.