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Canva Has Achieved UK Data Visualisation Organization Flourish

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Canva Has Achieved UK Data Visualisation Organization Flourish

Fast-growing design software giant Canva has achieved UK data visualisation organization Flourish as it works out its set-up of business-focused products, following an explosion in demand from enterprises for its service over the past two years.

Canva is putting some of its gigantic cash pile to use, purchasing London-based data visualisation firm Flourish, in a deal it says will kick off its planned expansion in the UK this year.

Terms of the acquisition were not revealed, however the deal – Canva’s 6th acquisition up to this point – will bring Flourish’s 44 London-based staff into the fold, as the $US40 billion ($56 billion) valued organization intends to open a London office later this year.

The organization says the expansion of Flourish was promoted by the proliferation of demand for business-focused communication tools by organizations whose representatives have generally worked from home for the past two years.

This is Canva’s 6th acquisition and follows a $200 million capital raise that led the organization to a valuation of $US40 billion ($55 billion) in September, making it possibly one of the most valuable private companies in Australia.

Canva’s latest funding round last November was $US200 million, and it is putting some of it towards setting up operations around the world, to help its already global user base. It hired 1350 individuals in 2021, taking its staff numbers to 2500 across offices in Australia, the US, the UK, Philippines, China, Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria.

Canva’s head of product, Robert Kawalsky, told The Australian Financial Review the acquisition would help UK expansion, where its software is now generally used, and it additionally started running brand advertising campaigns last year.

He said purchasing Flourish would support its staffing ranks with highly prized new workers and further develop its product presenting in the area of visual presentation of data.

“It has been incredible to see the continued growth of Canva across the globe over the last year,” Melanie Perkins, Canva’s co-founder, and CEO said at the time.

It followed one more raise in April 2021 the organization said was incited by a 50% surge in its user base in the year earlier.

Flourish, an data visualisation platform established in 2016, additionally adds an 800,000-strong user base including the BBC and Deloitte into Canva’s 75 million monthly users, with more than 30 million including the most recent year.

A step-change in depth

While Canva empowers its clients to make numerous sorts of designs, including business presentations and infographics effectively, Flourish has more refined capacities as far as making graphical representations of data.

It has been used by more than 800,000 individuals internationally, with big-name clients including Deloitte and Moody’s along with TV news associations like the BBC and Sky.

“It is really like a step-change in-depth in terms of what you’re going to be able to do with data storytelling,” Mr. Kawalsky said.

“There is a huge emerging trend towards organizations looking to tell stories with the data they have, and it is really becoming fundamental in industries of all shapes and sizes.

“With Flourish we saw a team of world-class data storytellers and a product that was really aligned in terms of vision with Canva because they have made a really complex space really simple, which is fundamentally what we’ve been trying to do with Canva.”

Protecting the culture

Flourish co-founders Duncan Clark and Robin Houston will become representatives of Canva. In a statement, Mr. Clark said they were invigorated by the prospect of presenting Flourish to Canva’s immense customer base, which currently sits at 75 million monthly active users, while likewise offering more options to Flourish’s clients.

Mr. Kawalsky knows first-hand the challenges associated with effectively adding a vibrant organization into the Canva mothership through acquisition, having joined when Canva made his own beginning up, Zeetings, its first buyout in 2018.

From that point forward, Canva has gained German stock image libraries Pexels and Pixabay in 2019, and afterward last year it purchased Austrian visual artificial intelligence start-up Kaleido and Smartmockups, a Czech organization that allows clients to make designs for t-shirts, mugs, and other items.

“Where we start [with an acquisition] is recognizing that we are bringing on board a team of humans and that first and foremost we have to understand what it means for them,” Mr. Kawalsky said.

“So they need the space and the latitude to preserve their culture. Then we also know that we bought them because they are the experts in their space, so we have to empower the leaders of these companies and act as an accelerant to their growth.”

According to a product perspective, Mr. Kawalsky said Canva was focused on supporting Flourish’s current clients while dealing with the challenge of consolidating it into Canva’s suite of design tools.

Flourish users would see no change for the foreseeable future, he said, yet Canva clients would have the option to maneuver Flourish visualisations into the Canva editor to work on from Thursday.

Work is now under approach to appropriately incorporate Flourish into Canva, with the goal that it becomes another product feature.

“Realistically, it is not an easy thing to do at all … we are actively working on it already, but it does take time incorporating all the parts of the product and the Flourish experience into the Canva product,” Mr. Kawalsky said.

“Before you bring the teams together it is really hard to predict exactly which bits of the technology will plug into which others, but if the teams are aligned, then you can work through those things collaboratively.”

Focus on enterprise

Robert Kawalsky, head of product at Canva, told Business Insider Australia the acquisition was part of the organization’s drive to diversify its services during extension in the UK.

“What we’ve seen increasingly is that data storytelling has become this really critical part of visual communication,” Kawalsky said. “And the essence of Canva is a visual communication suite.”

Canva said it outperformed 75 million users across 190 countries in 2021, where it likewise released a suite of new services designed for businesses, including video editing and a responsive website designer.

The organization says of all Fortune 500 organizations, 85% use Canva, ranging from Marriott, to PayPal and Snapchat, and that it saw an expansion of 150% in content made by organizations involving Canva’s services in the previous year.

Kawalsky said during this fast development in demand from global associations – and during the change to remote work – Canva was currently focused on meeting the advancing necessities of a detonating number of workplaces with distributed teams.

“In the last 18 months, we really shifted the product from being a tool mostly used by individuals, to a tool that’s really team first,” Kawalsky said.

“So there’s real-time collaboration, and a host of other collaborative features that allow teams to work on the same project, regardless of where they are, or what time zone they’re in.”

Expansion into data visualisation

​​Duncan Clark, CEO, and co-founder of Flourish said the merger would grow Canva’s data storytelling capabilities.

“By joining forces with Canva, we can bring the power of data storytelling to the world’s leading visual communication platform,” Clark said.

Canva said it will coordinate Flourish’s technology into its core platform, extending its capabilities in offering innovative and scalable data storytelling.

Kawalsky said London will become the central hub for expanding into Europe, with the organization actively hiring across a range of positions in front of additional development planned in the region.

He said the more extensive spotlight on B2B product development went hand-in-hand with its global plans for development outside of its Sydney headquarters.

Enabling non-experts to better access and communicate with data was a logical progression, as well as would grow in importance, Kawalsky said.

“We do really see that as a big emerging trend,” he said.

“And ultimately, it will allow people to not just…communicate visually, but also unlock all this sort of latent value they have with these datasets that are sitting all around the organization.

“And allow them to use that data to tell stories in a visual way which, from our own experience, is a much better way to actually consume information and entertainment.”

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