Canva acquires Affinity to fill the Adobe-sized holes in its design suite


Canva, the web-based design platform, has made a strategic move to bolster its offerings by acquiring the Affinity creative software suite. This acquisition positions Canva as a formidable challenger to Adobe’s dominance in the digital design industry. Affinity’s suite includes Affinity Designer, Photo, and Publisher, which are popular creative applications akin to Adobe’s Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign software, respectively. These applications are available for Windows, Mac, and iPad users.

Although the exact financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, reports suggest that it is valued at “several hundred million [British] pounds.” This acquisition aligns with Canva’s goal of attracting more creative professionals to its platform. Despite already boasting approximately 170 million monthly global users as of January, Canva lacks its own suite of design applications tailored specifically for professionals such as illustrators, photographers, and video editors, setting it apart from Adobe.

Canva’s press release regarding the acquisition emphasized the company’s commitment to empowering designers at every level. By joining forces with Affinity, Canva aims to cater to a broader spectrum of designers across different stages of the design journey.

Affinity’s user base, which exceeds three million globally, may be smaller compared to Adobe’s, but it has earned a devoted following due to its one-time purchase model without ongoing subscription fees. This model has resonated particularly well with creatives seeking alternatives to Adobe’s subscription-based ecosystem.

Canva’s co-founder, Cameron Adams, clarified that Affinity applications will remain distinct from Canva’s platform. However, he hinted at potential lightweight integrations in the future, signaling a collaborative approach between the two entities while maintaining separate identities.

With Affinity and its UK-based team now part of Canva, the company is better positioned to compete with Adobe across the broader creative software market. Canva’s user-friendly platform, coupled with the addition of Affinity’s suite, presents a compelling alternative for professionals seeking alternatives to Adobe’s offerings.

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