Aussie creative tech darling Canva has brought on San Francisco-headquartered ICONIQ Capital and Coatue Management as investors as it eyes listing on the US NASDAQ stock exchange.
Lead image: Canva co-founders Cliff Obrecht and Melanie Perkins.
ICONIQ is best known for counting Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey among its investors.
In an email sent to staff, the company said it will kick off broader staff secondary transactions “in the near future”.
“We’ll aim to kick off this process within the next six months,” the email, obtained by Street Talk, read.
The new investment values the company at $38.8 billion, though this is down 36 per cent from a peak in September 2021. But, according to co-founder Cliff Obrecht, the price is right.
“I think all things considered with most tech companies down more than 50 per cent, I think the valuation is solid,” Mr Obrecht said in an interview.
“What I think it speaks to most is the confidence investors have in Canva to grow beyond this. They’re obviously deploying large sums of money in order to see a return on that, and so it really speaks to their confidence in the business that it will continue to grow, and that trajectory will continue to accelerate.
“[The valuation] comes up in the media and no one is immune to a market drop of that significance. But it largely doesn’t impact our business, we’re continuing to hire and we continue to be really rigorous around who we hire, which we always have been, and which has led us being one of the few companies not having to do mass lay-offs and continuing to hire through this downturn.”
However, with this month’s SMI data showing that overall ad spend was up by just above two per cent, and recent Q2 earnings showing a growth in advertising revenue among the big social platforms, Google and Amazon (though with the exception of Snap) it appears that the tide might be turning. The big adtech platforms including PubMatic, Magnite and The Trade Desk are due to report their Q2 earnings this week.
This change in the winds for the market can only be good news for Canva, which is beloved by digital marketers for its ease of use and slick designs. Earlier this year, the platform announced new AI and team-focused tools to help agencies, advertisers and brands create more quickly and effectively.
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