Sydney’s Canva now worth more than Rio Tinto

Melanie Perkins’ Sydney headquartered Canva is now worth $US40 billion ($A54.6b), putting her and co-founder Cliff Obrecht’s combined wealth at $A16.38 billion.

The valuation comes after the company raised $US200 million ($A273m) in yet another funding round, making it the fifth most valuable private company in the world behind TikTok owner Bytedance ($US140b), space company SpaceX ($US74b), and financial services companies Stripe ($US95b) and Klarna ($US45.6b).

Canva co-founders Cameron Adams, Cliff Obrecht and Melanie Perkins. Image: Supplied

In Australia, it makes it more valuable than the market caps of ASX-listed Telstra ($A47b), Woolworths ($A49.83b), Coles ($A23.05b) and Rio Tinto ($A39.59b).

The new fundraising also comes just over five months since the 8-year-old company, based in Sydney’s Surry Hills, raised $US71 million at a $US15 billion ($20.4b) valuation.

Announcing the fundraising and new valuation, Canva co-founder and chief executive officer Melanie Perkins said she and Mr Obrecht would be committing the vast majority of their equity “to do good in the world”.

“While Canva’s equity has grown, our intention has always been to use the vast majority of that wealth to do good in the world. It has felt strange when people refer to us as ‘billionaires’ as it has never felt like our money, we’ve always felt that we’re purely custodians of it,” Ms Perkins said in a blog post.

“As we’ve previously shared, it’s long been our intention to give the wealth away, and we’ve been thinking long and hard about the best way to start that journey.”

This would be done via the Canva Foundation, she said.

Launched in 2013, Canva is an online visual communications and collaboration platform featuring a drag-and-drop user interface and a vast range of templates ranging from presentations, social media graphics, posters, apparel to videos, plus a large library of fonts, stock photography, illustrations, video footage, and audio clips.

It counts Fortune 500 companies as customers including Zoom, Salesforce and Paypal and recently surpassed 60 million users across 190 countries.

It has grown to a global team of over 2,000 with more than 1,000 hires completed in 2021 – a fact prompting George Hartley of Australian startup SmartrMail to recently point out why it was difficult to hire staff.

“Canva has 2000 staff, and they hired 1000 of them in the last year. No wonder no one else can hire any devs in Sydney!” Mr Hartley said.

Perhaps further exacerbating that problem, Canva said the fresh round of funding will be used to accelerate revenue growth, including expanding Canva’s team of more than 2,000 employees, which the company expects to double in the year ahead.

The company expects to exceed $US1 billion ($A1.36b) in annualised revenue by the end of the year while generating positive free cash flows.

The latest fundraising was led by T. Rowe Price and joined by new and existing strategic investors including Franklin Templeton, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Bessemer Venture Partners, Greenoaks Capital, Dragoneer Investments, Blackbird, Felicis, and AirTree Ventures.

“The need for both visual communication and online collaboration has become increasingly paramount and is driving Canva’s exceptional growth and adoption in teams and workplaces of every size and across many industries,” said Alan Tu, portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund.

“We’re pleased to extend our investment supporting Canva on its mission to democratise visual communication.”

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