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Canva acquires Affinity to support more designers

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Mar 26, 2024
Illustration of a hand cursor holding a paintbrush dripping paint.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Canva has acquired Affinity, a creative software suite geared toward professional designers, the company announced.

Why it matters: The deal helps the Australian startup grow ahead of an expected IPO in the U.S. that could come as early as next year.

Zoom in: Canva, a graphic design platform, agreed to pay a combination of cash and stock to Affinity parent company Serif, which is based in Nottingham, U.K. Financial terms were not disclosed.

  • The deal is valued at "several hundred million pounds," co-founder and COO Cliff Obrecht told Bloomberg. It was Canva's largest deal in its history, he told the Wall Street Journal.
  • Affinity helps Canva compete with Adobe by better serving professional designers. Affinity has more than three million users, per the release, and offers photo editing, graphic design and other illustration tools.

The intrigue: Canva has been acquisitive for European startups with Flourish, Kaleido, Smartmockups, Pexels and Pixabay — all since 2019. It opened a London office last year.

The bottom line: Canva is building more generative AI features. But buying can still be the best way to scale.

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