Before we dive deep into the SWOT analysis, let’s get the business overview of Canva. Canva is an online graphic design platform that allows users to create various types of visual content using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. 

Founded in 2012 by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams, Canva has since become a popular design tool millions of people use.

Business Model:

Canva operates on a freemium business model, which means it offers its users a combination of free and premium services. The free version of Canva provides users access to basic features, including a limited selection of templates, design elements, and fonts. Users can create designs for various purposes, such as social media posts, presentations, posters, and more.

Canva also offers a premium subscription service called Canva Pro, which targets businesses and professionals. Canva Pro includes additional features like team collaboration, a brand kit, access to a more extensive library of templates and elements, and priority customer support. Canva Pro is available at a monthly or annual fee. There is also an enterprise-level subscription called Canva Enterprise, which caters to larger organizations and provides more advanced features and support.

Product Offerings:

Canva’s platform caters to a wide range of users, from individuals to businesses and educational institutions. Some key product offerings include:

  1. Templates: Canva offers thousands of professionally designed templates for various purposes, such as social media, marketing materials, presentations, and more.
  2. Design Elements: Users can access a vast library of design elements like icons, illustrations, photos, and videos to enhance their designs.
  3. Fonts and Typography: Canva provides diverse fonts and typography tools for users to customize their designs.
  4. Collaboration: Canva allows users to collaborate on designs in real time, making it easy for teams to work together.
  5. Brand Kit: Canva Pro users can create a brand kit to maintain consistency in their designs, including custom fonts, colors, and logos.
  6. Integrations: Canva integrates with popular platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, and social media sites, making it easy to import and export designs.
  7. Print and Shipping: Canva offers a print-on-demand service, allowing users to order printed copies of their designs and have them shipped directly to their doorstep.

Financial Performance: As a relatively young company, Canva is nimble, priding itself on being profitable, and it was on pace to reach a $1 billion annualized revenue. This is two times what it reported in 2020.

How Canva’s strategy is challenging the tech giants

Here’s a SWOT analysis for Canva:

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of a business, project, or individual. It involves identifying the internal and external factors that can affect a venture’s success or failure and analyzing them to develop a strategic plan. In this article, we do a SWOT Analysis of Canva.

SWOT Analysis: Meaning, Importance, and Examples


  1. User-friendly interface: Canva’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it accessible to users with varying levels of design experience, including those with no prior design background.
  2. Freemium model: The freemium pricing structure allows users to access basic features for free while providing the option to upgrade to Canva Pro for more advanced features. This approach helps attract and retain users, who can explore the platform without any upfront costs.
  3. Extensive template library: Canva offers thousands of professionally designed templates for various purposes, enabling users to create visually appealing designs with minimal effort.
  4. Collaboration features: Canva’s collaboration tools make it easy for teams to work together on designs in real time, streamlining the design process and promoting efficient teamwork.
  5. Integrations: The platform’s integration with popular third-party services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and social media platforms facilitate the seamless import and export of designs, enhancing the overall user experience.
  6. Customization options: Canva provides a wide range of design elements, fonts, and typography tools, allowing users to personalize their designs according to their needs and preferences.
  7. Scalability: Canva caters to various user segments, from individuals to large organizations, with its tiered subscription plans (Canva Free, Canva Pro, and Canva Enterprise).
  8. Cross-platform availability: Canva is accessible via web browsers and dedicated mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, making it convenient for users to create and edit designs on the go.
  9. Regular updates and new features: Canva consistently updates its platform with new templates, design elements, and features to keep users engaged and maintain its competitive edge in the market.
  10. Global reach: Canva’s platform is available in multiple languages, expanding its user base to non-English-speaking markets and increasing its global presence.


  1. Limited advanced design tools: Canva’s simplicity and focus on ease of use may not cater to the needs of professional designers who require advanced design tools and features offered by more sophisticated programs like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
  2. Dependence on internet connectivity: Canva is primarily a web-based platform, which means users need a stable internet connection to access and work on their designs. This could be a disadvantage in areas with poor internet connectivity or for users who prefer working offline.
  3. Intellectual property concerns: As Canva provides users with pre-made templates and design elements, there could be concerns about the originality of the designs created on the platform. Users might unintentionally infringe on existing copyrights or trademarks, leading to legal issues.
  4. Quality of free assets: While Canva offers a vast library of design elements and templates, the quality and variety of free assets might not always meet users’ expectations, especially compared to the premium content available for Canva Pro subscribers.
  5. Competition from established players: Canva faces competition from well-established design software providers like Adobe, which has more comprehensive design tools and a longer track record in the market. Convincing professional designers to switch from these established solutions to Canva could be challenging. What does Adobe do | How does Adobe make money | Business Model
  6. Performance issues: With the increasing number of design elements, templates, and users, Canva may sometimes experience performance issues, such as slow load times or temporary outages, which could affect the user experience.
  7. Monetization challenges: As a freemium service, Canva relies on converting free users to paid subscribers. However, the abundance of features and assets available in the free version might make convincing users to upgrade to a paid plan challenging.
  8. Data privacy concerns: As an online platform, Canva stores user data, including designs and personal information, on its servers. This could raise data privacy and security concerns among some users, especially with the increasing number of data breaches and privacy-related regulations worldwide.


  1. Expansion into new markets: Canva can tap into new geographic markets, especially in developing countries, by localizing its platform and offering region-specific templates and design elements. This can help increase its global user base and revenue.
  2. Collaboration with influencers and brands: Partnering with influencers and well-known brands can help Canva reach a wider audience and attract more users. These collaborations involve promotional campaigns, sponsored content, or co-branded design templates.
  3. Catering to niche industries: Canva can explore creating specialized templates and design elements for specific industries or professions, such as healthcare, real estate, or non-profit organizations, to cater to more diverse users.
  4. Offline capabilities: Introducing an offline mode or desktop application could allow users to work on their designs without an internet connection, addressing one of the platform’s major weaknesses and enhancing its overall usability.
  5. Integration with additional third-party platforms: By integrating with more third-party services and platforms, Canva can further streamline the design process for users and make it easier to share and export their creations.
  6. Expansion of educational offerings: Canva already offers design resources and courses for educators and students. Expanding these offerings, such as providing more specialized design courses or certification programs, could help Canva become a go-to resource for design education.
  7. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) integration: As AR and VR technologies become more mainstream, Canva could explore incorporating them into its platform, offering users new and immersive ways to create and experience designs.
  8. Enhanced customization and personalization: Canva can invest in developing more advanced design tools and features that cater to professional designers, allowing for greater customization and personalization of designs.
  9. Acquisition or partnership with complementary businesses: Canva could consider acquiring or partnering with businesses that offer complementary services or technologies, such as stock photo platforms, video editing tools, or marketing automation software, to expand its product portfolio and offer a more comprehensive solution to users.
  10. Sustainability and social impact initiatives: Canva can leverage its position in the design industry to promote sustainable and socially responsible design practices, such as eco-friendly printing options or partnerships with non-profit organizations, which can positively impact its brand image and attract socially conscious users.


  1. Competition: Canva faces intense competition from established design software providers like Adobe, as well as emerging competitors offering similar online design tools, such as Crello, Desygner, and Piktochart. These competitors might introduce new features, aggressive pricing strategies, or better integrations that could threaten Canva’s market share.
  2. Rapid technological advancements: The design industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and trends emerging regularly. Canva must keep up with these changes and continuously innovate to stay relevant and maintain its competitive edge.
  3. Changing user preferences: As user preferences and design trends change, Canva must adapt its platform and offerings accordingly to meet users’ evolving needs and expectations. Failure to do so could lead to a decline in user engagement and loyalty.
  4. Intellectual property issues: As mentioned earlier, the use of pre-made templates and design elements could lead to copyright or trademark infringement concerns. If legal issues arise, Canva’s reputation and user trust could be negatively impacted.
  5. Data privacy and security: Canva handles a large amount of user data, including designs and personal information. Ensuring data privacy and security is crucial, as any breaches or mishandling of user data could harm the company’s reputation and result in legal consequences or loss of users.
  6. Dependence on third-party platforms and integrations: Canva’s reliance on third-party platforms for integrations, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and social media sites, can pose a risk if these platforms change their policies or experience technical issues that impact Canva’s functionality.
  7. Regulatory changes: Changes in regulations related to data privacy, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, could impact Canva’s operations and require the company to make significant adjustments to its data handling practices.
  8. Economic factors: Economic downturns or fluctuations in currency exchange rates could affect Canva’s revenue and profitability, particularly if users become more cost-conscious and opt for free alternatives or cancel their paid subscriptions.

Check out the SWOT Analysis of Global Businesses