Former Disney CEO Bob Iger Picks Stake in Australia-based Design Firm Canva

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Former Disney CEO Bob Iger Picks Stake in Australia-based Design Firm Canva
Photo: Loren Javier / Flickr

Although the size of the investment remains unknown, Bob Iger will join Canva as an advisor to the company.

Bob Iger, the former CEO of entertainment giant Disney Inc, has picked up a major stake in Australia-based design company Canva. Although Iger didn’t disclose the size of the investment, he said that he will work closely with the company as an advisor.

Valued at $40 billion, Canva has more than 75 million monthly users as of date. It has become a go-to easy-to-do graphic design app for social media advertisers. It helps users create presentations, videos, and image designs and is posing a major competition to giants such as Microsoft and Adobe. Speaking on Bob Iger’s recent investment, Canva spokesman Lachlan Andrews said:

“We’re incredibly excited to welcome Bob Iger as an investor and advisor. Bob brings a wealth of experience after 15 years at the helm of one of the most loved and most creative brands in the world and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

Last September, Canva raised fresh funding at valuations of $40 billion. Besides, the company was also on pace to reach $1 billion in annual revenue by late 2021.

Canva offers a 30-days free trial to customers and then incentivizes them for getting the Pro subscription at $12.99 per month. Currently, Canva has more than 5 million Pro customers. Besides, the company has also been successful at attracting paying customers at the Enterprise level. Some of its customers include PayPal, Marriot, Salesforce, Zoom, and American Airlines.

Canva Design Company Faces Backlash

Canva has been recently facing a lot of heat currently because of its decision to continue operating in Russia after the Ukraine invasion. While many companies decided to quit their operations in Russia, Canva has decided otherwise.

Uvi Levitski, a software engineer also part of an informal group of Ukrainian expatriates called Canva’s actions “inconsistent with what we believe an ethical company’s response should have been”. “The Australian Ukrainian diaspora is understandably appalled by Canva’s unprincipled position and the lack of action,” he added.

Canva’s head of communications, Lachlan Andrews, issued some clarification speaking to The Guardian. Andrews said his company has suspended payments to and from Russia since March 1. He added:

“The free version of Canva remains available in Russia along with a prominent banner displaying our opposition to the war and directing users to our pro-peace and anti-war templates”.

Andrews said that such actions could possibly lead to Russia banning them anytime. “However, until then, we believe we have an important responsibility to use our reach, particularly with our 1.4 million users in Russia, to promote truth and accurate information,” he said.

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