Careers at Canva


Canva operates a graphic design platform that allows users to create a range of designs, including graphics, business cards, banners and flyers, through a simple drag and drop interface. The Company serves both individual and business customers.


Canva was founded in 2012 by Melanie Perkins (“Perkins”), Cliff Obrecht (“Obrecht”) and Cameron Adams (“Adams”). Development of the Canva platform began in 2007 during Perkins’ time as a design tutor at the University of Western Australia. She noticed that students found it difficult to grasp the foundations of design programs such as Photoshop and InDesign, and began developing ideas for a more accessible design platform.

Lacking the technical expertise needed to develop such software, however, Perkins instead created a simple online tool that allowed users to create templates for school yearbooks. She later partnered with Obrecht to build online publishing company Fusion Books, with technical help from a small team of engineers Perkins and Obrecht realised that Fusion Books technology had the potential for much broader applications, leading Perkins to return to her original concept of an accessible and easy-to-use design platform.

The pair began looking for a technical partner who could lead the software development side of the business, ultimately joining forces with web developer Adams. Perkins, Obrecht and Adams launched the first version of Canva in 2013, comprising a simple drag-and-drop design tool supported by a library of more than 1 million photographs and graphics.

Canva received $3 million in seed capital in 2013 and has gone on to raise a total of $30.6 million in five rounds of funding. The Company’s investors include 500 Startups, Blackbird Ventures, Matrix Partners and Felicis Ventures.

Benefits at Canva

Business model of Canva

Customer Segments

Canva’s 9.6 million users comprise a variety of customers, ranging from casual individual users to business teams and professionals. The Company’s products cater to a broad audience of casual consumers, including individuals who want to create a banner for social media, freelancers that wish to design a business card, jobseekers who need to put together a resumé, and event organiser who need to design flyers.

The more advanced Canva for Work package provides greater functionality to business users, in particular including teams within media houses and online publications, and is reportedly used by 40% of all Fortune 500 companies. The Company’s business customers have reportedly included Huffington Post, Lonely Planet, TechCrunch, Yelp, Hubspot and Upworthy. The Company also offers free Canva for Work subscriptions to charities and non-profits such as Amnesty International, Stop Hunger Now, OPERA America and the Fistula Foundation.

Value Propositions

Canva provides a flexible design platform with a wide variety of customisation options. It provides a free service to casual user, charging only a small fee for the use of premium elements. These charges are only incurred once a graphic is published, allowing users to experiment with premium content before payment.

The Company’s software is easily accessible through mobile and web browsers, as well through its iOS and Google Chrome apps.

The Canva software is easy to use, requiring no technical expertise, allowing novice and casual users to create appealing graphics quickly and simply, and offers a range of useful tools, such as the Magic Resize button that automatically resizes graphics to fit across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.


Users can register for, access and edit user accounts and purchase subscriptions from Canva’s homepage at Canva is also accessible through specifically designed iPad app, which includes a drag and drop interface, and through a Google Chrome browser app.

Additionally, the Company has developed the Canva button which can be integrated into any website that hosts user-designed content and enables users to post directly using Canva functionality. A button of this kind has been designed specifically for use by Wordpress customers.

Customer Relationships

Canva subscriptions are available on a self-service basis and can be purchased directly from the Company’s website with no intervention from Canva representatives. Once registration is complete, users may access the full suite of Canva tools, with any additional premium fees also paid on a self-service basis. The Company’s design platform also allows for community involvement, with users able to submit content to the Canva marketplace.

Canva also operates a free Design School section on its website which, in addition to providing support resources such as tutorials and user guides, includes free teaching materials such as workshops where users can receive live instruction and lesson plans for teachers. Canva also maintains a blog that covers a range of topics associated with design and social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and Dribble.

Key Activities

Canva is a graphic design company. It develops, markets and sells subscriptions to its graphic design software product, catering to both individual and business users across the world. The Company’s flagship Canva product is an online graphic design platform that enables users to design presentations, social media graphics, business cards, banners and more using a variety of layouts, text options and stock images.

The Company operates under a freemium business model, allowing users to access Canva functionality free of charge, with additional premium extras and advanced, paid-for subscriptions.

The Company has also produced an API allowing third-parties to integrate Canva functionality into their own websites that allows users to submit Canva graphics directly.

Key Partners

Canva’s key partners are its graphics contributors, integration partners and its marketing partners. The Company has collaborated with a number of third-party applications and websites through its Canva Button integration service that allows users to create Canva graphics without visiting the Canva website directly.

These partners include GoDaddy, Tailwind, Wordpress, Agora Pulse, Post Planner and TabSite. While Canva does not have a formal affiliate program, it does seek partnerships with bloggers and designers with a view to expanding its marketing network.

Key Resources

Canva’s key resources are its technology and software platform, its IT infrastructure, its personnel and its contributor partners.

The popularity of the Company’s platform depends on the reliability and quality of the Canva design product and the breadth of the Canva marketplace.

Canva has one patent application filed with IP Australia under the title ‘System for single-use stock image design’.

Cost Structure

Canva’s principal costs relate to the development of its software, the maintenance of its IT infrastructure network and the retention of its personnel.

The Company employs a workforce of more than 100 all of whom incur costs relating to salaries and benefits, and operates offices in Sydney, San Francisco and Manila.

Revenue Streams

Canva generates revenue through the sale of user subscriptions to its Canva for Work platform and through the single-use licensing of stock images and graphics. Its annual revenue figures are not publicly disclosed.

Canva’s basic subscription package is available for free; however, in order to access premium elements, primarily premium images, free users must pay a licensing fee of $1 per image. Users only pay if they publish a design using a stock image, and are billed either once they have accumulated at least $10 in fee or one month after an initial purchase, whichever is sooner.

Canva’s more advanced Canva for Work subscription, aimed at power users and business teams, is priced depending on how many team members are to be included and whether billing will be made on a monthly or annual basis. The monthly billing rate is $12.95 per month for each user, while the annual billing rate is set at $9.95 a month per month, per user.

Our team

Melanie Perkins,
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

info: Melanie has served as Canva’s Chief Executive Officer since 2012. She also serves as a director of Fusion Book, an online publishing company that she founded in 2007. Perkins served as a technical assistant and tutor at the University of Western Australia’s Media Centre from 2006 to 2007, also serving briefly as a public relations intern at Weber Shandwick in 2007. Perkins holds a bachelor’s degrees in Communications, Psychology, and Marketing and Management from the University of Western Australia. She also graduated from the University’s Innovation Excellence Program in 2009.

Cliff Obrecht,
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer

info: Cliff has been Canva’s Chief Operating Officer since co-founding the Company in 2012. He previously served as Managing Director at Perkins’ Fusion Books from 2008 to 2013. Like Perkins, Obrecht is also a graduate of the University of Western Australia.

Cameron Adams,
Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

info: Cameron has served as the Chief Product Officer at Canva since 2012. He is also the owner of Man in Blue, his personal web design company, established in 2000. Adams began his career in 2005 as a front-end web developer at online design consultancy Eclipse. He moved to Google in 2008 where he worked as a user interface designer for three years before founding email platform in 2011. Adams holds bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Law from the University of Melbourne.

Guy Kawasaki,
Chief Evangelist

info: In 2014 high-profile tech evangelist Guy Kawasaki (“Kawasaki”) joined the Canva team as Chief Evangelist, building support for the Company within the tech community. He serves in a similar role at Mercedes Benz and was formerly Chief Evangelist at Apple Computers. Kawasaki also holds a number of advisory roles, including with tech start-ups Ustream, BagtheWeb, Statusnet and Ticketleap.