Canva acquires Flourish as it sets its eyes on European expansion

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Canva co-founders Cliff Obrecht and Melanie Perkins. Source: Supplied.

Australian graphic design giant Canva is ramping up its expansion into Europe by acquiring UK-based data visualisation platform Flourish for an undisclosed sum.

Canva’s sixth acquisition comes just months after the company raised US$200 million ($279 million) in a round that valued the fast-growing company at US$40 billion ($56 billion).

It also comes as Canva hits a milestone of 75 million monthly active users, 30 million of which have been added to the platform over the past 12 months.

Flourish was founded in 2016 by Duncan Clark and Robin Houston, who will reportedly now join Canva along with Flourish’s UK staff of 44.

Flourish has a global user base of more than 800,000 people, with more 9.5 million visualisations having been created on the platform to date. Large organisations including the BBC, Sky, Deloitte and Moody’s use the platform.

In a blog post about the acquisition, Canva co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins said it was clear the two companies shared the same mission, values and culture “from our very first conversations”.

“In the same way that we’ve been working towards our mission of empowering the world to design, the Flourish team has been working to empower everyone to tell stories with data by making once complex and inaccessible software available to everyone,” said Perkins. 

“As the volume of data in today’s world continues to grow, the real challenge is around making sense of it all. To unlock the hidden meaning in your spreadsheets and databases, you need to be able to present complex information in engaging and understandable ways. That’s where data storytelling comes in.”

Canva said it will integrate Fourish’s technology into its core platform in coming months.

Flourish co-founder and CEO Duncan Clark said in a statement the team is excited for “this next step in Flourish’s journey”.

“By joining forces with Canva, we can bring the power of data storytelling to the world’s leading visual communication platform, embraced by millions of people across the globe,” he added.

The acquisition of Flourish is the latest acquisition for Canva, which previously acquired startup Zeetings in 2018; stock image libraries Pexels and Pixabay in 2019; and Kaledio and Smartmockups, also in 2019.

It also continues Canva’s efforts to build a presence in Europe, with Canva teams now set up in the UK, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany.

In the blog post, Perkins shared a preview of what the integration of Flourish with Canva will look like:

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