Canva to launch visual worksuite to expand over Graphic & Video Tools


Canva is growing its position as more than just an easy-to-use graphic design tool. Canva Docs, Canva Websites, Canva Whiteboards, and Data Visualization, which result from the firm’s acquisition of Flourish, are the new products the Australian company announced at its Canva Create event.

Canva will also increase the number of print products it offers and introduce its background-erasing technology to videos. A remote control option for Canva Presentations will be available when it launches in 2021. This feature enables presenters to connect to other devices (like a phone) and utilize them as virtual clickers.

“We’ve been working for the last two years essentially on the new era of Canva,” said Cliff Obrecht, Canva co-founder and COO, in an interview with TechCrunch. “Canva has always been very much like an individual product with deep penetration into the workplace. But we’ve never really launched this worksuite that is suitable for organizations.”

85% of Fortune 500 companies including FedEx, L’Oreal, and Salesforce, use Canva’s design tools, claims the company. Canva for Teams, released last year, has over 4.4 million paying clients, but like all of Canva’s products, its worksuite will have a freemium model. The worksuite will have collaboration tools that enable team members to work on documents in real-time, just like its Teams product.

Any product from the worksuite will inevitably be compared to Microsoft Office or the Google suite. Obrecht claims that Canva is not attempting to compete with these major companies. Canva, on the other hand, he sees as a visual-first ally to these tools.

We’re not trying to compete head-to-head with Google Docs,” Obrecht told TechCrunch. “Our products are inherently visual, so we take a very visual lens on, what does a visual document look like? How do you turn that boring document that’s all text-based into something engaging?”

The worksuite products from Canva are compatible with one another, so if you create a presentation, you can also convert it into a document or website.

Additionally, Canva intends to make its API available in beta, allowing programmers to integrate the worksuite more swiftly.

Furthermore, Canva is introducing a creator program where carefully screened designers can charge Canva customers for templates, images, and designs. The revenue split between Canva and its authors, according to Obrecht, varies based on the complexity of the product. For instance, an extremely technical video template might pay a creator more than a stock photo.

Canva raised $200 million last year, valued at $40 billion. Obrecht believes that Canva is well-positioned to advance at a time when venture funding is becoming more difficult to obtain and valuations are dropping.

“We’re in a fortunate position where we’re a profitable company, 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 that the company is aggressively hiring. Right now, the company lists 227 open roles on its website.

Canva’s profitability, according to Obrecht, can be attributed to the Australian tech scene, which is very different from Silicon Valley, where venture capital can (or once could) 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 U.S., everyone was like, ‘Oh, you have a startup!’”

So, Canva started with business loans and worked to get profitable from the beginning.

“We built this sustainable, profitable engine that was frugal, and then we got capital on board, and then like… we haven’t spent the capital because we’ve got this frugal business that makes money,” said Obrecht. “That’s set us up for success.”

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