Former Apple chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki joins online design platform Canva

Guy Kawasaki (left) with Canva co-founders Melanie Perkins (middle) and Cliff Obrecht (right)

Guy Kawasaki (left) with Canva co-founders Melanie Perkins (middle) and Cliff Obrecht (right)

Canva, which has built an online tool that makes creating graphics super easy, has been making waves. It raised US$3 million from Australian and US investors last March before launching the product, which is rare given the discouraging investment scene Down Under.

Today, the Sydney-based startup announced that Apple’s former chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki has finished his contract with Motorola and Google, and has joined the team full-time in the same role he performed at Apple. Kawasaki has also invested an undisclosed sum in the company.

With the new role at Canva, Kawasaki will be developing an evangelism program to help it grow globally. Canva CEO Melanie Perkins told Tech in Asia this would mean that Guy will be speaking at events, working with influencers, using his social media platforms to increase Canva’s visibility, helping secure business development deals, and building its content strategy while being based out of Silicon Valley.

Why did Kawasaki pick Canva?

Kawasaki says he is an early adopter of the online design platform. He used it to create graphics for his social media posts and email newsletters. In his own words, he was mesmerized by the company’s vision and desire to change the design scene:

Macintosh democratized computers; Google democratized information; and eBay democratized commerce. In the same way, Canva democratizes design. You don’t get many chances to democratize an industry, so I seized the opportunity to work for Canva.

And if that’s not exciting enough for the Australian team, Guy’s social media architect Peg Fitzpatrick will also be joining Canva as the head of social strategy, bringing on board too her experience as the co-founder at 12 Most, a website of list articles.

Canva in Asia

Since launching the platform seven months ago, Canva has gained 330,000 registered users, with more than 1.5 million designs created using the platform. About 100,000 new designs are made weekly, and double of that amount are edited on. Most of the users come from United States and Australia, with India and the Philippines ranked sixth and seventh in its list.

Perkins has seen her company grow rapidly, and Asia is a market particularly exciting for the team. She explains why she is seeing much growth in Asia:

Countries like the Philippines are very switched on what it comes to visual graphics. For example, the Philippines is ranked 8th in the world when it comes to Facebook usage. With large communities of freelance designers and marketers, these countries have been early adopters of Canva.

(See also: Canva makes designing collaterals fast and simple)

Editing by Terence Lee
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