Canva launches productivity suite to tackle Google Docs and Microsoft Office

Canva, the $26 billion Australian graphic design company, is launching a new suite of digital workplace products, the company announced in Sydney on Wednesday. The startup known for its easy-to-use design tools will start rolling out a professional toolset it calls a “visual work suite” on Wednesday, including collaborative documents, website building and data visualization. Canva’s new services pose a direct challenge to Google Docs, Microsoft Office and Adobe, whose digital tools are the mainstays of the modern workplace.

With this launch, Canva hopes to move from a primarily consumer-focused brand often used by individual teams to design social media graphics and presentations to an essential business tool and, in doing so, open up the management software market. productivity valued at $47.3. billion and growing at 13% per year, according to Grand View Research.

“Visual communication is becoming an increasingly essential skill for teams of all sizes in nearly every industry,” co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins said in a statement. “We bring simple design products to the workplace to empower every employee, in every organization and on every device.”

Courtesy of Canva

Perkins, COO Cliff Obrecht and Chief Product Officer Cameron Adams founded Canva ten years ago. The Sydney-based startup was valued at $40 billion in 2021 before investors cut its valuation to $26 billion earlier this year, citing a desire to better match public markets. Still, the company is the most beloved female-founded startup in the world.

The 3,000-person company has built that rating over the past decade through design products that users rely on to create Instagram graphics, slides, and more. Canva’s basic features are free, but the company charges customers for access to higher tiers. Its new products, which are web-based, will also be free with additional purchase options available. The new product suite is integrated, allowing users to work across multiple formats. A document created with Canva’s competitor Google Docs can be turned into a slide in its presentation tool, for example.

Tackling all of modern publishing, including working tools, has always been part of Perkins and Obrecht’s vision for Canva, but they started small. Today’s Canva grew out of Fusion Books, the yearbook publisher the young couple founded ten years ago. “We’ve had this in our pitch deck since 2011,” Perkins told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday. “It was the last pillar.”

Canva claims to have 85 million users and 4 million paying customers. In addition to documents, the company is introducing a website builder, a new category that allows Canva to compete against Squarespace and other web design leaders. (Canva’s collection of tools does not include email, which is often included in digital workspace product packages.)

The startup will also launch a Creator Network that allows photographers and other artists to receive payment for graphics they upload to the Canva ecosystem and an App Marketplace that allows developers to create new features that can be available for paid download. These two features open up new revenue streams for Canva.

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