As Melanie Perkins struggled to raise venture capital for Canva back in 2011, one of the first pitch decks she put together featured an easy to use website builder.
A decade later, Perkins has realised her dream amid a suite of product upgrades unveiled this week. The cofounder and CEO of Canva said that it took a little longer than she expected but she’s pleased to see it as part of the company’s new Visual Worksuite.
The options embed Canva users even more deeply in the company’s ecosystem, in a direct challenge to the office products of pioneering tech companies such as Google, WordPress, Adobe and Microsoft.
“With the launch of our new Visual Worksuite, we’re bringing simple design products to the workplace to empower every employee, at every organisation and on every device,”Perkins said.
The Sydney-based private company, which recently had its valuation cut by a third to a still staggering $37 billion, now has more than 4 million paying customers using Canva for Teams, with the number of users tripling over the last 12 months as other tech giants such as Zoom, Salesforce, PayPal and Reddit also signed on.
The new visual worksuite now includes drop and drag design products for docs, whiteboards and websites, alongside a video background remover, and data visualisation via the data storytelling company Flourish, which Canva acquired last year. To complement the presentation side of the platform, Canva has also built an app-based smartphone virtual clicker to manage page flow on screen.
The company is also expanding Canva Print to 35 products from invitations to flyers, photo books, hoodies, mugs and posters, with home delivery or the ability to pick up.
Perkins presented the new features alongside co-founders Cameron Adams and Cliff Cliff Obrecht, saying Canva worksuite reimagines traditional office products for the modern era to deliver for professionals worldwide.
Canva Whiteboards is designed for brainstorming and team collaboration, offering a virtual board offering everything from sticky notes to images and diagrams, and a synced timer.
Canva Websites allows users to create websites from any device without technical skills, offering everything from customisable domain registration to site analytics.
“It took a really long time to get to this point,” Perkins confessed, unveiling her 2011 idea to the media.
“It was dream that rather than having to go and use some really clunky software or to create even a basic website to ensure that you could create one with the same ease that you can create all of your products in Canva,” she said.
“If you think like responsive design happening automatically is pretty seriously challenging technical thing, but here we are.”