Australia's Canva plans to grow by acquisition

Wooed by Silicon Valley, the Sydney-based graphic design business reached unicorn status this year and is using its stockpile of cash to buy smaller start-ups.
Canva co-founders (L - R) Cameron Adams, Cliff Obrecht, Melanie Perkins
Canva co-founders (L - R) Cameron Adams, Cliff Obrecht, Melanie Perkins

Felicis Ventures director Wesley Chan describes Sydney-based graphic design business Canva as “one of the most valuable private companies in Australia today”. The six-year old company became only the second Australian start-up to reach unicorn status with a valuation of over $1 billion when it raised $40 million from Felicis and Blackbird Ventures via a Series C round of funding in January.

Felicis, which has been an investor since 2015, took a punt on Canva when it was being ignored by other Silicon Valley funds. “Australia is a faraway place but when we saw Canva’s pitch we knew there was the possibility of some serious disruption in the market for...

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