Design software giant Canva opens first European office

Design software giant Canva opens first European office

Canva co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins cuts a ribbon to officially open the company's new London office (Provided).

More than a year after buying data visualisation company Flourish to bolster its presence in the UK, software giant Canva has officially opened the doors to its first European office in London.

Located on Hoxton Square in the trendy neighbourhood of Shoreditch, the space is designed to offer employees an office library, locally roasted coffee, team lunches, yoga classes and other external events.

While Canva services giants like WPP, BBC, Unilever and Rolls Royce, it also has twice the number of small businesses using its platform in the UK compared to the rest of the world. According to the firm, UK consumer engagement is growing by 30 per cent year-on-year.

“We’re incredibly excited to unveil our first European campus as we continue to deliver on our mission to empower everyone to design,” Canva CEO Melanie Perkins said.

“From creating world-class data storytelling features, to building truly magical product experiences through AI, our teams across Europe play a critical role in making incredible things possible for our global community.

“As visual communication increasingly becomes table stakes, we’re looking forward to doubling down on our presence in the region to fuel new levels of impact.”

Co-founded by Robin Houston and Duncan Clark in 2016, Flourish – Canva’s most recent European acquisition – is used by thousands of organisations, including the BBC, Sky, and Deloitte to turn data sets into engaging graphics.

To date, more than a million Flourish users have created 15 million-plus visualisations, which have collectively been viewed more than 30 billion times.

The company’s visualisations can now be integrated into Canva designs, allowing more than 130 million monthly users to integrate animated charts, zoomable maps and explorable diagrams.

Following the parent company’s official office opening in London, Clark will step into his new role as Canva’s Europe Lead.

The European market has played a significant role in Canva’s growth, with the company acquiring a total of six European companies – including Kaleido, Smartmockups, SlidesCarnival, Pexels, and Pixabay – since 2019.

In addition to its UK presence, the software giant, which was valued at $55 billion in September 2021, also has teams in Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Gauging demand for data storytelling

According to research conducted by Canva in partnership with multinational market research firm Ipsos, 95 per cent of business leaders are using data visualisations at least once a week.

The 2023 Visual Economy Report, which surveyed 1,600 business leaders from the US, UK and Australia, also found that 85 per cent of respondents believe that visual communication carries more authority than other methods of communication.

Digital literacy has also become an important skill for employees to have, with 61 per cent of global business leaders saying those in non-design roles are still expected to have extensive knowledge, like creating graphics, GIFs or presentations.

“Canva has been a valuable tool to speed up and streamline our creative team's processes,” Reddit CMO Roxy Young said.

“It helped our creative team shift their time from one-off bespoke requests to high-leverage brand systems and programs.

“We’ve saved over 21,000 hours of design time in just six months after the internal adoption of Canva."

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