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Unleash Your Creativity with Canva: The Ultimate Graphic Design Platform

Canva: The Ultimate Graphic Design Platform

Are you struggling to create captivating visual content for your business or personal projects? Look no further than Canva – the graphic design platform that has taken the world by storm since it was founded in 2012.

In this article, we will dive into the history, business model, and functionality of Canva, as well as explore how it works and its various features.

Overview of Canva

Canva is a popular SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) application that allows you to create professional-looking graphic designs with ease. It offers a variety of design templates, pre-designed layouts, and a drag-and-drop interface that make it accessible to everyone, regardless of their design experience.

With Canva, you can create anything from social media posts and marketing materials to presentations and even personal projects like invitations and photo collages. The company was co-founded in 2012 by CEO Melanie Perkins and COO Cliff Obrecht, both of whom had previously founded Fusion Books, an online school yearbook publisher.

Canva was initially launched as a SaaS platform aimed at empowering anyone to create beautiful graphic design work regardless of their design expertise. The company’s goal was to democratize graphic design and make it accessible to everyone.

Since its launch, Canva has grown enormously, with over 40 million users in 190 countries and a company valuation of over $15 billion.

Business Model and Revenue Streams

Canva operates on a freemium model, meaning that anyone can sign up for a free account and have access to basic features, while advanced features and content are offered through a monthly or yearly subscription. The subscription fee ranges from $9.95 per month for the Pro version to $30 per month for Canva Enterprise, the platform’s version aimed at larger businesses.

The paid version offers additional features like more design templates, access to premium stock images and illustrations, and a Brand Kit that allows you to store and use your brand’s colors, logos, and fonts. In recent years, Canva has diversified its revenue streams beyond subscriptions.

It now offers a print product service that allows you to turn your designs into physical products such as business cards, flyers, posters, and so on. Additionally, it has a marketplace where designers can sell their own designs to other users, with Canva taking a percentage of each sale.

Finally, Canva also offers online courses aimed at improving design skills, with the courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels.

Company History and Growth

Canva was founded in 2012 by CEO Melanie Perkins and COO Cliff Obrecht after they realized the potential for making graphic design more accessible. The company initially raised $3 million in seed funding from prominent investors, with more funding being raised over the years.

In 2018, Canva raised a Series C funding round of $40 million, which helped the company increase its global footprint and expand its marketing efforts. Canva has also acquired various companies and startups over the years to help improve its features and services.

In 2019, Canva was valued at $2.5 billion, but by the end of 2020, its valuation had increased to over $15 billion, thanks to the huge surge in demand for remote work tools and the reliance on digital marketing. Perkins and Obrecht have continued to lead the company through its explosive growth, with the goal of making Canva synonymous with graphic design.

How Canva Works

Canva is entirely cloud-based, meaning that you don’t need to download any software to use it. You simply have to create an account on their website and log in to access their tools.

Canva offers a wide variety of templates, layouts, illustrations, stock photos, graphics, and other design elements that you can drag and drop onto your canvas. You can customize these elements by adding your own images, text, and brand color schemes.

Canva also has a feature called the Brand Kit. This tool allows you to store and use your brand’s colors, fonts, and logos across your designs.

This not only ensures consistency in your branded materials but also saves you time by not having to recreate your brand’s assets each time you design something new. One of the most convenient features of Canva is its collaboration and sharing capabilities.

You can easily share your design projects with other users by simply clicking on the Share button and specifying who you want to share it with. This allows for simultaneous project work, as multiple people can contribute to the same design project in real-time.


Canva is undoubtedly the go-to graphic design platform for both amateurs and professionals. Its business model, revenue streams, and flexibility make it accessible to everyone, no matter what level of design experience they have.

The platform’s collaborative nature and wide range of design elements also enable teamwork and seamless workflow, making it an essential tool for remote workers worldwide. With its continuous growth and dedication to making design more accessible, Canva shows no signs of slowing down.

A Short History of Canva

Canva is a graphic design web application that has revolutionized the way non-designers create and share visual content. Its intuitive drag-and-drop features make it easy to create designs for social media, websites, print materials, and more, even for those who lack design experience.

The founders, Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, launched Canva in 2013. The two had previously co-founded Fusion Books, an online design platform for creating school yearbooks.

Founding and Early Stages of the Company

The inspiration for Canva came from Perkins’ experience in launching Fusion Books. Perkins realized that design was typically viewed as a complex and time-consuming task, only suited to trained professionals with specialized software.

She believed that there was an opportunity to simplify the process and enable anyone to design online. Perkins and Obrecht collaborated with Australia-based web developer Cameron Adams to turn this vision into reality, and Canva was born.

In its early days, Canva was focused on creating desktop applications for the Mac OS X platform, but the founders soon realized that web-based software was the future. They also recognized the need for Canva to be accessible to everyone, regardless of their design experience.

The platform was designed to be easy to navigate with intuitive drag-and-drop features and pre-made templates that could be easily customized.

Development and Expansion of the Platform

Canva’s unique approach to design quickly gained attention from investors. In April 2013, Canva raised $3 million in seed funding from a group of prominent investors, including Bill Tai and Lars Rasmussen.

The funding was used to build and expand the platform, including the development of more design templates, design tutorials, and a dedicated customer support team. In 2014, Canva hired former Google engineer and designer David Hearnden as the head of engineering, further bolstering the company’s talent pool and capabilities.

On top of this, Canva made several strategic acquisitions of companies such as Pexels and Pixabay, which provided Canva users with access to millions of free stock photos, illustrations, and videos.

Canva also grew beyond its original scope of design templates and drag-and-drop features.

In 2016, Canva launched Canva for Work, which allowed businesses and teams to collaborate on design projects and access more advanced design tools. In 2019, Canva launched Canva Print, which enables users to turn their designs into physical print products like business cards, postcards, and more.

Canva Print offers competitive pricing and customization options, making it an attractive option for businesses and individuals looking for affordable print solutions. How Does Canva Make Money?

Canva offers a free version of its platform with limited features, but it also offers two subscription plans – Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise – that provide access to premium features and allow power users and businesses to get more out of the platform. Canva Pro is a premium subscription plan aimed at individuals, freelancers, and small teams who want to unlock more advanced features and templates.

This plan offers access to over 75 million premium stock photos, videos, and graphics, a brand kit for storing logos, color schemes, and fonts, and the ability to create custom templates and collaborate with up to 5 users. Canva for Enterprise is geared towards businesses and larger teams who need collaboration and advanced design tools.

This subscription plan includes all of the features of Canva Pro plus additional features like team access controls, custom templates, and the ability to collaborate with up to 100 team members. Canva also offers printed products through Canva Print, where users can turn their designs into physical products like business cards, postcards, and apparel.

Prices vary depending on the type of product and the design’s complexity. In addition, Canva offers Design School courses aimed at helping individuals and businesses improve their design skills.

These courses are available both online and in-person and cover topics like graphic design, branding, and photography. Lastly, Canva has a marketplace where designers can sell their own designs to other users.

The platform’s Pexels and Pixabay acquisitions have also enabled Canva to offer more free and premium elements, which designers can use in their designs. Designers on Canva’s marketplace receive royalties for each sale they make, providing another revenue stream for Canva.


Canva’s journey from a desktop application to a dominant web-based graphic design platform illustrates the potential for innovative ideas that disrupt industries. With its intuitive and easy-to-use features, Canva has democratized design, making it accessible to everyone, from individuals to businesses.

The company’s multiple revenue streams – from subscription-based services to print products, online courses, and its marketplace – illustrate a deep understanding of its users’ needs and how to monetize those needs. Canva’s future looks bright as it continues to expand its offerings and provide new channels for revenue growth.

Canva Funding, Valuation & Revenue

Canva has come a long way since its founding in 2013. The graphic design platform has undergone multiple funding rounds, raised money from major investors, and achieved a multi-billion-dollar valuation.

In this article, we explore Canva’s funding history and its notable investors, its current valuation, and company success, and its revenue generation and projections.

Total Venture Capital Funding and Notable Investors

Canva has raised a significant amount of venture capital funding over the years, allowing the company to grow and expand its offerings. In its early days, Canva raised $3 million in seed funding from various investors, including Lars Rasmussen, Cameron Adams, and Bill Tai.

The company’s first major financing round came in 2014, with a Series A funding round led by Matrix Partners, which raised $6 million for the company. Canva followed that up with another funding round in 2015, a Series B, which raised $15 million and was led by existing investors Matrix Partners and Vayner Capital.

In 2016, Canva raised $15 million in a Series C funding round led by Blackbird Ventures, with participation from other investors like Felicis Ventures and Founders Fund. The company then raised another $40 million in its 2018 Series D funding round, which was led by Sequoia Capital China and included investors such as Blackbird Ventures and Bond.

Canva’s most recent funding round in 2021 was a massive Series E financing round, raising $200 million and led by T. Rowe Price.

Some of Canva’s notable investors include SoftBank, General Catalyst, and Perkins Coie.

Current Valuation and Company Success

Canva is currently valued at $40 billion in 2021, after the successful completion of its Series E funding round in April 2021. This valuation is a significant increase from the company’s last funding round in 2018, which saw it valued at $3.2 billion.

Canva’s recent valuation of $40 billion has catapulted co-founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht to become Australia’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $16 billion each. Canva’s success can be attributed to its ability to make graphic design accessible to everyone.

With over 40 million users in 190 countries, Canva has impacted almost every industry, from marketing and social media to personal projects and education. Canva’s significant valuation and success has also led to the acquisition of several companies, including FreeLogoServices and Kaleido.

Revenue Generation and Projections

Canva has diversified its revenue streams beyond just subscription plans and print services to include Design School courses and a marketplace that provides designers with a platform to sell their own designs. Canva has projected that it will reach $1 billion in revenue in 2021, up from its $500 million revenue in 2019 and $700 million revenue in 2020.

Canva’s revenue is largely generated from its subscription plans, with a large proportion of its users purchasing its Canva Pro plan which offers additional features such as a brand kit and access to premium photos and templates. With the recent addition of its Canva for Enterprise plan, the company aims to provide larger businesses with more advanced design tools and features.

Canva’s growing success has also led it to expand its revenue streams and offerings, including Canva Print, which allows users to turn their designs into physical print products. Canva’s Design School courses have also experienced success, attracting users who are interested in learning design skills and techniques.


Canva has come a long way since its inception in 2013. As the platform continues to grow, it has become one of the leading graphic design platforms in the world, providing users with easy-to-use tools, templates, and premium features.

With notable investors, a $40 billion valuation, and multiple revenue streams, Canva is poised to continue its upward trajectory. Through its innovative offerings and dedication to democratizing design, Canva has become a household name and a valuable resource for businesses, teams, and individuals alike.

Canva has emerged as a dominant force in the graphic design industry, offering an accessible platform that empowers individuals and businesses to create professional designs. With a total funding amounting to millions of dollars and support from notable investors, Canva is currently valued at an impressive $40 billion.

The company generates revenue through its subscription plans, print services, online courses, and marketplace for premium designs. Canva’s projected revenue growth of $1 billion in 2021 demonstrates its ongoing success.

As Canva continues to innovate and expand, it serves as a powerful reminder of the power of democratizing design. The platform’s ability to make graphic design accessible to all is not just a game-changer for the industry but also a testament to the incredible achievements possible when technology and creativity intersect.

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