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Canva - text design on computer
Apr 02, 2024

Canva has acquired Affinity – can it take on Adobe?

Dayna Lang
Author Dayna Lang

Canva made a name for itself in the world of technology and digital design; with its new acquisition of Affinity, it may be unstoppable. The web-based platform known for its accessible features and easy-to-use design tools is bringing award-winning software producer Affinity under its helm. 

On March 26, 2024, the two companies announced the deal with significant excitement. This positions Canva as a key competitor in the market – poised and ready to take on Adobe (the reigning champion of design software). Can this deal loosen Adobe’s grip on the creative world? Or is Canva still too small to be a giant slayer? 

Affinity brings to Canva its three massively popular applications – Affinity Designer, Photo, and Publisher. Available on Windows, Mac, and iOS (through the iPad), these applications compete with Adobe’s Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign software, respectively. This acquisition perfectly positions Canva to strategically enter the ring. 

While the two companies have yet to release any numbers, a report from Bloomberg suggests that the deal is valued at “several hundred million [British] pounds.” And that makes sense; this acquisition puts the Australian-based Canva in the perfect place to attain its goals of attracting more creative professionals at scale.

Canva has evolved into a major design platform. In January 2024, it had already garnered around 170 million monthly global users. In recent years, Adobe developed an equivalent software, Express, to try to angle in on Canva’s market share. 

The catch for Canva’s success? The simple-to-use software that made it so popular also gave it a reputation as a less professional option. With Canva’s purchase of Affinity that’s about the change. 

Previously, Canva didn’t have its own professional design applications for illustrators, photographers, and video editors. Thanks to Affinity, it now does – and these tools are highly rated.

 

Screenshot of Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo

 

Canva is more competitive than ever 

In its statement announcing the deal, Canva described the acquisition as an “award-winning suite of professional design software [that] has become a sought-after solution for everything from photo editing to complex graphic and vector design.”

That suite of professional software is exactly what Canva needed to compete with the big guns. Cliff Obrecht, co-founder and COO of Canva, describes the deal with optimism, saying “Together, we’re setting our sights on empowering every kind of team and organization to achieve their goals.” And he is most certainly including Canva’s goals in that statement. 

Affinity seems equally excited about the deal, saying: “In Canva, we’ve found a kindred spirit who can help us take Affinity to new levels. Their extra resources will mean we can deliver much more, much faster.”

Since its founding in 2013, Canva’s goals have been to “empower the whole world to design” and according to their co-founder, it’s “still just 1% of the way there.” This deal is the leverage they need to take the next steps towards global influence. 

While Canva has been a major success thus far (by empowering non-professionals to design and create), working with Affinity will let them capture the professional market alongside its traditional amateur-skewing customer base. The company is perfectly poised to target the entire spectrum of creative experience, at every stage of the design journey.

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