Canva Acquires UK Graphic Design Suite Affinity in Major Industry Move

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In a major development that shook up the digital design software landscape, Australian design platform Canva announced on March 26th that it has acquired UK-based creative software company Serif Ltd and its popular Affinity suite of applications. The acquisition deal, estimated to be worth “several hundred million pounds” according to Canva’s co-founder and COO Cliff Obrecht (Bloomberg), positions Canva to take on Adobe’s dominance in the professional design software market.

The Affinity suite, used by over 3 million customers worldwide, includes three core applications – Affinity Designer for vector graphic design, Affinity Photo for image editing, and Affinity Publisher for desktop publishing. These applications have gained a strong following among professional designers for their powerful capabilities comparable to Adobe’s flagship products like Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, but with a one-time purchase pricing model rather than subscriptions.

Sources confirm that Canva plans to continue offering the Affinity apps as standalone products while exploring potential integrations with its own platform in the future. “Since the inception of Affinity, our mission has been to empower creatives with tools that unleash their full potential,” said Ashley Hewson, CEO of Affinity (Canva press release).

The acquisition garnered significant interest and discussion across social media platforms:

“My primary concern with this acquisition lies in the potential for the Affinity Suite moving to a subscription model in the future. This is the whole reason I moved away from Adobe’s products,” commented graphic designer Tam Spires on LinkedIn, echoing concerns from Affinity’s user base.

Dario Babović, another designer, commented “If we look at their competitor, Adobe, they already have a huge collection of software…Perhaps Canva aims to achieve this, to have integration with professional software for designers, photographers, visual designers, etc.”

While details are still emerging, the acquisition represents a major strategic move for Canva to attract professional designers alongside its existing user base of over 175 million. Industry experts will be watching closely how Canva integrates and evolves the Affinity suite to compete with Adobe’s creative cloud offerings.

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