Graphic design

Canva goes beyond graphic design to launch a visual work suite TechCrunch

Canva also stands out as more than just a user-friendly graphic design tool. The Australian company announced at its Canva Create event that it will be unveiling a suite of new products to complement its product offering: Canva Docs, Canva Websites, Canva Whiteboards and Data Visualization, which comes from its acquisition of Flourish.

Canva will also expand its print offerings and bring its background removal technology to videos. Canva Presentations, launching in 2021, will get a remote control feature, which allows presenters to connect other devices (like a phone) to use them as a virtual clicker.

Canva’s remote control feature for presentations Picture credits: Cloth

“We’ve been working for two years basically on the new era of Canva,” said Cliff Obrecht, co-founder and COO of Canva, in an interview with TechCrunch. “Canva has always been like an individual product with deep penetration into the workplace. But we never really launched this organization-friendly work suite.

According to Canva, 85% of Fortune 500 companies, including FedEx, L’Oreal, and Salesforce, use Canva’s design tools. More than 4.4 million customers pay for Canva for Teams, which launched last year, but like all of Canva’s products, there will be a freemium model for its work suite. Like its Teams product, the work suite will include collaboration features that allow team members to work on documents together in real time.

Any work suite product will naturally draw comparisons to the Google or Microsoft Office suite. But Obrecht says Canva isn’t trying to compete with these corporate giants. Instead, he sees Canva as a visual companion to those tools.

Canva Video Background Removal Feature

Canva Video Background Removal Feature Picture credits: Cloth

“We’re not trying to compete with Google Docs,” Obrecht told TechCrunch. “Our products are inherently visual, so we take a very visual focus, what does a visual document look like? How do you turn this boring, entirely text-based document into something interesting? »

Canva’s work suite products are interoperable. So, if you are making a presentation, you can also turn it into a document or a website.

Canva also plans to launch its API in beta, allowing developers to more easily integrate with the work suite. Additionally, Canva is launching a creator program where highly selected designers can sell templates, photos, and designs to Canva users. Obrecht declined to share the revenue split between Canva and its creators, saying it varies depending on the complexity of the product — for example, a super-technical video template can make a creator more money than a photo. of stock.

The drag-and-drop feature on Canva Docs

The drag-and-drop feature on Canva Docs Picture credits: Cloth

Last year, Canva raised $200 million at a $40 billion valuation. At a time when venture capital is harder to come by and valuations are plummeting, Obrecht believes Canva is well positioned to move forward.

“We’re in a really lucky position where we’re a profitable business, and unlike a lot of our peers, we also have a huge cash balance,” Obrecht said. He told TechCrunch that Canva has about $700 million in the bank and the company is hiring aggressively. Currently, the company lists 227 open positions on its website.

Obrecht says Canva owes its profitability to the nature of Australia’s tech ecosystem, which is far removed from Silicon Valley, where venture capital can (or used to) flow freely.

“We grew up in Perth, Western Australia, which is the most isolated city in the world,” Obrecht said. “We didn’t know what venture capital was. We had what we thought was a small business, and then when we went to the States, everyone was like, “Oh, you have a startup!”

So Canva started with business loans and worked to become profitable from the start.

“We built this really sustainable, profitable engine that was frugal, and then we got capital on board, and then like…we didn’t spend the capital because we have this frugal business that’s making money,” said said Obrecht. “It really set us up for success.”