Will Canva be the next household name in graphic design?

We live in a world where billions of people are connected by Facebook, Instagram LinkedIn and Twitter, and they mostly use images to communicate. Therefore the need of visual assets arises. Moreover, it’s not possible for every individual to have potential image designing abilities or hire professionals at every point of time. This is where the role of a platform like Canva comes in. Canva is a user friendly software that allows anyone to create graphic designs. It could either be for a business brochure, logo or for a wedding invitation or for an Instagram post.

canva header

 Why Canva?

If an individual wants to upload an Instagram post, he or she would have myriad apps to edit their post from. Starting from VSCO filters to Snapseed, the list is quite long. Now if the same individual wishes to create a business card for his business, then he would have to switch to some other app. The same thing would happen if he wanted to make a flyer or a brochure for marketing purposes or to create an invitation card for some event. Therefore Canva was founded in 2012 by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams in the hopes of helping users create designs for numerous purposes, using one common platform.  

Canva is a graphic design platform which can be used in both computers and in mobiles and it allows users from all over the world to create a vast range of visual contents like posters, logos, presentations, brochures, book covers, labels, worksheets, business cards, planners, etc. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals. The tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics.

The purpose of Canva:

Melanie Perkins, the chief executive of Canva said, “Our goal is to help people design anything and publish anywhere”. The application has been designed in such a way that even people who hardly have any knowledge about graphic designing, will get the opportunity to learn and practice and grow – as a creator. It is easier than other complicated graphic design software. One of the most striking features of Canva is that it saves time and does not include complex designing tools in it, like the ones present in Adobe. It has the ability to provide quick on – the – spot graphic design (with the help of stock photos and templates) for a client. It also saves money in businesses as professionals need not be hired for designing.    

Rise of Canva:

Its financial growth over the years: 

rise of canva

 The growth of Canva from 2013 – 2015: number of designs created

  • In October 2014, it had 1 million users and this number increased to 4 million by August 2015.
  • By 2017, Canva had 2, 94,000 paying subscribers.
  • The valuation of the company reached to $1 billion in 2018. This could take place because of the investments of Sequoia Capital, Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures.
  • The valuation reached $2.5 billion in May 2019. Canva had raised $70 million from funds received from General Catalyst and Bond and from its existing investors as mentioned earlier.
  • An additional $85 million was raised in October 2019, raising the net valuation to $3.2 billion.

The marketing strategies that helped Canva to grow more:

canva growth process


Canva provides its basic services to all users for free. But this comes with limited features, stock photos and templates. An insight to the customers is given as to the additional services that will be provided, if they subscribed to the company. The premium paid subscription, called that ‘Canva for Work’ and ‘Canva Pro’ is priced at $9.95 per month (if paid yearly) and $12.95 per month (if paid monthly). The paid subscriptions provide unlimited number of features and photos and users can use the drag – and – drop format application to create their own design. This strategy helped Canva gain 15 million users with 3, 00,000 paying customers.  The company also has a design marketplace where designers, illustrators and photographers can share images that Canva users can pay $1 to use in their own work.


Canva’s funding helped its valuation to grow quite far (current valuation being $3.2 billion). Companies like Sequoia Capital, Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures invested millions of dollars which further added to its success story.


The Company further acquired Zeetings in 2018 to grow its presentation creating suite. Pexels and Pixabay were also acquired in 2019 so that there is an increase in the number of stock photos (which are provided for templates). These acquisitions were made to improve the features of the platform.

user friendly

To help its users more, who have a hard time in coping up with graphic designing, Canva provides DIY tutorials. Furthermore, the drag and drop format, the stock photos and templates and many other features make it one of the most user friendly graphic design app of all times. 

Future Prospects:

Who are its competitors?


Adobe is by far the biggest competitor of Canva. Applications like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator are very much popular in the graphic design platform with the company having a valuation of around 91.2 billion dollars. Yet, there’s always a loophole one can take an advantage of. This particular software isn’t designed for folks who hardly have any knowledge of graphic designing. Therefore, the founders of Canva used this limitation to their advantage to try and eliminate their competitor from the market. The Canva software tools are much more simplified and allow users to practice and learn more easily.

Microsoft PowerPoint:

According to recent reports, 30 million presentations were made with Canva’s presentation creation suite. Although this number sounds quite enthralling, the company still has a long way to go to so as to overpower Microsoft. It is expected that within the next two years, Canva will be able to overpower Microsoft if proper strategies are employed to improve its presentation toolkit.


There are multiple other applications and software like Inkscape, Figma, SketchDeck, etc. Yet Canva has a greater opportunity to become a household name in the graphic design platform due to its immense valuation and funding.

Where is it headed?

At present, 10 million people from 190 different countries are using Canva in 100 different languages. The annual growth rate of the company is 6.5%. On analyzing the financial growth (as stated earlier) of Canva, it is expected that its valuation would reach around $250 billion by 2025. It has been observed from reports that at a time when start – ups are struggling to make it into the market, Canva’s profits come as a welcome break. Thus, rise of canva.

This rise of Australian startup, canva has recently been established in countries like Philippines and China. If Canva continues to grow in this rapid pace, then its future is something to look forward to. There are also a few who believe that Canva will be acquired by Box, but the probability of that happening is fairly less. Therefore it is fair to say that Canva has the potential to be a household name in the graphic designing platform.