Australian startup darling Canva raises $15 million from Blackbird and Felicis Ventures
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Canva Co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins (Photo credit, Canva)

Canva has managed to rise above a crowded field of graphic design startups, simultaneously helping Perth gain a reputation for its small-but-growing tech and startup scene

Sydney-based online graphic design startup Canva has roped in another $15 million in venture funding, the company announced Wednesday. The round was co-led by prominent Australian VC Blackbird Ventures and US-based Felicis Ventures at a valuation of $345 million, more than doubling the value it had at its Series A in October 2015.

Canva is an online software suite — they also recently released an iOS-compatible app — that gives users prefabricated layouts for infographics and other visuals for social media and presentations. It may be recognizable to a lot of digital marketers and social media mavens who have found the site while trying to make quick, yet strong infographics. Canva seemingly has bested a lot of the competition in terms of reputation, a not-so-easy task in the graphic design world these days.

Co-founder and CEO Melinda Perkins brags that while their previous $15 million round was also helpful, the money itself hasn’t actually been spent.

“While we haven’t spent a dollar from our last round, we have huge plans for Canva and having a lot of capital ready to go makes it possible for us to quadruple down,” Perkins says. “There’s core pillars of our plans that were in our original pitch deck from 2011 that we still haven’t commenced.”

Canva’s three founders: Cliff Obrecht, Melanie Perkins and Cameron Adams. The company announced a $15 million round on Wednesday. (Courtesy of Canva)

Canva’s three founders: Cliff Obrecht, Melanie Perkins and Cameron Adams. The company announced a $15 million round on Wednesday. (Courtesy of Canva)

They have boasted explosive growth in the last year, leaping from 1.5 million users to 10 million according to Business Insider, with customers like Yelp and Huffington Post.

Thus far, the company has raised $42 million from a number of prominent investors like Matrix Partners, Square Peg Capital, InterWest Partners, Shasta Ventures and Vayner/RSE. Angels like 500 Startups’ Dave McClure and Google Maps and Analytics maven Lars Rasmussen join Canva’s celebrity backers, along with Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson to round off an impressive list.

The company was co-founded in 2012 by Cliff Obrecht, Cameron Adams, and CEO Melanie Perkins. Their app is available for iPhone and iPad users with an Android option on the way. It is currently available in 11 languages. The company currently has 120 employees spread over its three offices in Sydney, San Francisco and Manila.

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