Canva announces its new iPad app whilst Adobe make a play into web-based platforms

- October 16, 2014 3 MIN READ

Last night, design startup Canva added a new extension to its brand with the launch of their new iPad application. The app, which Canva has had a dedicated team working on for the last 12 months brings together the simple drag-and-drop design interface and library of more than one million photographs, graphics and fonts that the desktop version of the application has become known for.

“In the past year since our launch we have been overwhelmed by the many ways people are using Canva every day. Our new app brings everything people love about Canva to the iPad,” said co-founder and CEO of Canva Melanie Perkins. “We have seen everything from facebook groups where people share their Canva designs, to people actually making money from teaching courses on how to use Canva”.

Unlike the desktop version of Canva, a stand out new feature of the iPad app is that you can directly take a photo from your device and upload it straight into Canva. This feature is heavily pushed in the product introduction video. In my opinion this will be a big reason for people to download the application. That as well as being able to download and save a PDF presentation directly to your iPad, which I did this morning for a sales meeting I have later on this afternoon.

The Canva app sits in the Productivity category on the App store. The startup is lucky that there is no real competition in its space right now, that offers all the functionality they do basically for free, with only a small fee for premium design features and imagery.

However, Adobe and its Creative Cloud services have begun to make a play into their own web solutions. On September 29th, Google announced that Adobe Photoshop would be the first of a number of applications from Creative Cloud that will be integrated into all new Chrome books with a ‘streaming version’ of the service.

In a statement made by Product Manager at Google, Stephen Konig said of the new partnership with Adobe:

This streaming version of Photoshop is designed to run straight from the cloud to your Chromebook. It’s always up-to-date and fully integrated with Google Drive, so there’s no need to download and re-upload files—just save your art directly from Photoshop to the cloud. For IT administrators, it’s easy to manage, with no long client installation and one-click deployment to your team’s Chromebooks.

When Startup Daily asked Perkins if she was worried at all about Adobe’s play into web-based solutions, Perkins said, “[We at] Canva are just concentrating on our own goals right now”. Goals which they seem to be hitting every month. There are over 870,000 users on the platform now (goal of 1 million by Christmas) and over 6.2 million designs being completed on the platform (1.2 million of those were just last month). It makes sense that the team at Canva would not be focusing on what the largest player in the design space is doing right now.

But that does not necessarily mean that Adobe, a well established company, is not caught up in the manic-ness that is startup life, nor that it would not be casting an eye as to what Canva is doing. Canva’s all in one integrated solution gets closer and closer to replacing Adobe’s entire suite of tools every time a new feature is added to the Canva platform. Startup Daily asked Perkins if Adobe had reached out to Canva to talk about anything from partnerships to interests in acquisition, to which Perkins responded “no comment”.

Whether Adobe has or not, it would be highly unlikely that Canva would look at an acquisition right now. From the outset, Perkins has always been very clear about wanting to build a strong and sustainable company. In the early days when she was first pitching to investors, it was always about how Canva could be a billion dollar company. Whilst right now Canva does not share statistics around its revenues, the sheer user traction and fact that people are building their own small businesses off the back of Canva’s services are certainly indicative that a billion dollar business is not a pipe dream, rather a reality a few years down the track.