Canva raises US$40 million in round led by Blackbird Ventures to hit unicorn status

- January 9, 2018 2 MIN READ
Canva Melanie Perkins.

Graphic design startup Canva has hit unicorn status: the company has raised US$40 million ($51 million) in a funding round led by existing backer Blackbird Ventures, with participation from Felicis Ventures and Sequoia China, to reach a valuation of US$1 billion ($1.3 billion).

The fresh funding brings the total raised by the Sydney startup to almost US$86 million ($106 million) since its founding in 2012. It comes after two injections of US$15 million, in October 2015 and September 2016 respectively, with the 2016 round raised at a valuation of US$345 million.

Despite last bringing on investment in 2016, however, Canva cofounder and CEO Melanie Perkins said the company has not yet touched the cash from its last two rounds. However, Perkins said Canva decided to take on additional funding in order to pursue global opportunities and further develop its core product offering.

“We’ve only just started to scratch the surface of achieving our goal of empowering everyone to design anything, and publish anywhere,” she said.

“The world is rapidly becoming more visual, yet traditional design tools in the market are too complicated to use, or so costly that they become inaccessible. Canva is designed to enable individual and teams to collaborate seamlessly, and our growing footprint is evidence of the widespread need that we are addressing. This additional funding will bring us one step closer to giving everyone the ability to thrive in an increasingly visual environment.”

Blackbird Ventures partner Rick Baker said Canva’s product growth and adoption across various demographics is “truly exceptional”.

“In just four years, Melanie Perkins and her team have taken the startup from humble beginnings in Australia, to what has now blossomed into one the fastest growing software businesses of all time. It’s a very exciting space to be in as we start redefining the workplace, and what it means to communicate in the 21st century,” he said.

The funding comes after a raft of product announcements over the last year.

As well as making its platform available in 100 languages and boasting over 10 million users, the startup last June launched Canva Print, a paid service allowing users the ability to create and order printed designs.

The service aims to act as a direct, simplistic replacement to online printing services such as Vistaprint and Zazzle, offering users a simple way to print the business cards, invitations, postcards, posters, flyers and letterheads they create on the platform.

The company brought in $23.5 million in revenue in the 12 months to June 2017, with after-tax losses of $3.3 million, according to records filed with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

Image: Melanie Perkins. Source: Supplied.

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