Home / Tech / Canva's co-founder says the $3.2 billion Australian startup is 'more stable' than WeWork, amid chatter about overvalued unicorns

Canva's co-founder says the $3.2 billion Australian startup is 'more stable' than WeWork, amid chatter about overvalued unicorns

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  • Canva’s Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder Cameron Adams reiterated confidence in his company’s massive $3.2 billion valuation, saying that the graphic design startup has “underlying financial stability” that other big-money tech companies don’t have. 
  • Investor confidence in unicorn startups has waned after New York-based co-working startup WeWork went from a $47 billion valuation to talk of bankruptcy in just six weeks. 
  • But Adams told Business Insider that while WeWork had investor hype, Canva has the financial stability that is necessary to achieve long-term success. 
  • Adams added that the company has no plans for an IPO anytime soon but did not rule out the possibility in the future. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

MELBOURNE — Canva’s chief product officer and co-founder Cameron Adams reiterated confidence in his company’s massive $3.2 billion valuation, saying that graphic design startup has “underlying financial stability” that other big-money tech companies don’t have. 

Adams told Business Insider during an interview at the Startup Grind APAC Conference in Melbourne, Australia, that his company’s consistent track record justified the recent valuation spurred by a $AU125 million ($85.2 million) funding round. 

“That number definitely makes sense to us in terms of where our growth curve is, what we’ve got planned, our track record, everything that’s in motion,” Adams said. “Obviously we wouldn’t negotiate to get that kind of valuation if it wasn’t something that we believed in.”

Still, investors are skeptical of the Sydney-born private business, which has been able to raise an impressive amount of capital since its founding in 2012. The company has been referred to as a “unicorn” — a private company worth at least $1 billion — and co-founder Melanie Perkins has even embraced the term to describe her business.

Other noteworthy unicorns include Uber, Airbnb, and Spotify, though Canva is one of the first to come out of Australia.

But investor confidence in unicorn startups has waned after New York-based coworking startup WeWork went from a $47 billion valuation to talk of bankruptcy in just six weeks. It was once the United States’ most valuable tech startup before a delayed IPO necessitated a bailout from its largest investor SoftBank just to stay afloat. 

WeWork’s quick rise and subsequent fall from grace does not concern Adams, who says Canva is in a “much more stable position.” While Adams said he was not well-versed in the specifics of WeWork’s financial woes, he remained resolute that Canva would not meet the same fate. 

“There seemed to be a level of hype [about WeWork] that got people excited,” he said. “I think Canva is in a much more stable position, and we’ve demonstrated that to investors through our consistent growth over the years and we’ve been profitable for a while. We have underlying financial stability.”

The company reported its first profit in 2017, generating $AU1.8 million ($1.2 million) net profit on revenue totalling $25.1 million.

“I think the people that invest in us do a lot of due diligence … They really do their homework and make sure it’s a good investment to put their money into,” he added.

One lesson Canva has taken note of from WeWork’s fall was rushing into a premature IPO. 

 “We’re not planning one anytime soon,” Adams said. “There’s still plenty of time for that.”

SEE ALSO: Canva has just been valued at $4.7 billion, triple what it was 18 months ago and cementing founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht status as tech billionaires

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