Canva eyes $US1.5b share sale despite valuation headwinds


Australian software giant Canva is nearing a $US1.5 billion ($2.27 billion) share sale in what would be one of the largest secondary transactions in global technology history.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald understand that the share sale, from current and former Canva employees, would value the company at $US26 billion and would allow current and former employees as well as existing investors to sell shares to new investors.

“The transaction is still in the final stages of closing so this number may move around slightly,” a person close to Canva who was not authorised to speak publicly told this masthead.

Canva remains the flag bearer for the Aussie start-up scene, despite global valuation headwinds.Credit: Louie Douvis

“Canva has had exceedingly high interest from quality, long-term and blue-chip investors.”

The sale was first reported by Bloomberg, and the source said Canva had a $US1 billion target and that the round was significantly oversubscribed.

They said Canva’s $US2 billion in annualised revenue meant it was now growing faster than any public software company.

The buying and selling of illiquid shares in privately held tech companies, a concept known in the industry as secondaries, enables existing funds and early employees to realise returns ahead of an initial public offering.

The company, which last year celebrated its 10th birthday and which offers online design and collaboration tools, declined to comment.

Last August, Canva investor Blackbird sold some of its stake in the company to US investors including Coatue Management and ICONIQ Capital, the latter of which functions as a family office for the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey.