Australia’s tech unicorn Canva acquires presentation startup Zeetings

Zeetings CEO and co-founder Robert Kawalsky and Canva CEO and co-founder Melanie Perkins.

Australia’s online design and publishing startup unicorn Canva is expanding its design reach to include presentations, following its acquisition of Sydney-based interactive presentation tool Zeetings.

This latest move by Canva, which earlier raised $40 million in a funding round backed by Sequoia China and long-time investors Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures, seeks to challenge the traditional Powerpoint presentations.

“Together we will be able to deliver a full suite of rich, interactive experiences to power the future of presentations, and put an end to death by Powerpoint,” said Melanie Perkins, CEO and co-founder of Canva.

Financial details of the acquisition, which is Canva’s first, were not immediately disclosed. Zeetings CEO and co-founder Robert Kawalsky and other members of the team will be joining Canva.

Zeeings, launched in 2015, provides smart presentation tools that add interactivity and analytics to presentations.

These tools include polls, surveys, and group chats to enable participants in meetings, training sessions, workshops and events to actively participate from their own smartphone, tablet or computer

Perkins said, Zeetings gives people a new way to engage their audiences with a platform to participate in otherwise one-directional presentations.

Millions of presentations have been designed on Canva since the launch of the design tool in 2013, with a range of templates tailored for a variety of industries, professions, and needs, such as marketing, business updates, social media graphics, pitch decks and training material.

Zeetings CEO and co-founder Robert Kawalsky said, having the two companies come together made sense as they both shared the same vision for the future of presentations, and empowering people to achieve their goals through better visual communication.

“We launched Zeetings three years ago with the simple idea that if we could transform presentations from one-way monologues into two-way conversations, we’d be able to unleash the collective genius of everyone in the room,” Kawalsky said.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.