Today we’re delighted to announce a major milestone in the Flourish journey: we’ve joined the Canva family.
The acquisition is great news for users of both tools. It will allow us to accelerate our efforts to democratize data storytelling on the Flourish platform – including, from today, giving private data to every user.
Joining with Canva will also see us starting to bring visualization magic to Canva’s huge global community, starting today with a new plug-in that makes it possible to embed interactive Flourish graphics in Canva presentations and designs.
When Robin and I started work on Flourish five years ago, our aim was to enable everyone to visualize and tell stories with data. We’d spent years making bespoke visualizations as an agency, Kiln. Now we wanted to open up the medium for everyone, with a tool that could empower non-coders to move beyond basic charts and create richer visuals with animation, interaction and narrative.
We were fortunate enough to win the backing of lots of people along the way. Our seed investors got behind our idea that there was a huge unmet need for storytelling with data. And so did our early team members, some of whom left dream jobs to join an outfit with no more than a prototype and some borrowed desk space.
As the product started taking shape, we were also lucky to win the trust of early customers, who took a risk on a new product they couldn’t be sure would still be there in a year or two. These customers put the company onto a sustainable footing early on, giving us the freedom to remain independent and focus properly on our product rather than being stuck on an investment treadmill.
It was thanks to all these people that Flourish’s footprint grew so fast since our launch in 2018. Since then, more than 750,000 Flourish users have made more than 7.5 million visuals which have been viewed more than 15 billion times.
Although we never had a fixed idea of Flourish’s long-term future, we did know that we would only ever consider being acquired if we felt a strong sense of alignment with the company in question. That is exactly what we found when we started chatting to Canva, one of the world’s most exciting companies, with a vast global user community and a deep-seated determination to do good in the world.
In some ways the two companies are strikingly similar. Like Flourish, Canva’s aim is to make a complex discipline easier and more accessible – to “empower the world to design”. Like Flourish, Canva does this partly by using templates to help users get advanced results quickly. And like Flourish, Canva has retained its independent spirit by growing as a sustainable break-even business.
There’s also a great fit in what we each haven’t done. While Flourish has been focused on visualization and interactivity, Canva has been making huge strides in every other aspect of visual communication. Their collaborative drag-and-drop editor allows users to design everything from presentations and videos to websites – all formats that could be enhanced by, and unlock new potential for, rich visualizations.
Possibly most important of all, we found a great philosophical fit. Despite growing to a team of thousands, Canva has retained a startup-style energy and a famously good culture. And the founders, Mel and Cliff, have taken the inspiring step of donating the vast majority of their shares to a charitable foundation focused on major global problems – exactly the kinds of issues that we spent years visualizing as Kiln.
(By the way, if that combination of rapid growth, good culture and charitable aims appeals, why not consider joining us?)
To celebrate the acquisition, we’ve got two exciting new offerings for our users:
From today, all Flourish users can create visuals privately. Everything will stay private unless you publish publicly. Since privacy was the main feature of our paid Personal plan, we’ll be retiring that plan for new users. Individuals currently on the Personal plan can switch to the new free plan (by ending their subscription in the settings page) or stay as they are (to retain support and HTML downloads, which for new customers will be on our business or enterprise plans). We’re really excited about this change, which should lots more people to start using Flourish in their day-to-day work.
You can now add Flourish visualizations to Canva presentations. We’ve just launched a new plug-in which allows you to easily include your flourish graphics in Canva presentations and designs, even if they are not publicly published. We think the combination of rich interactive visualizations and a world-class drag-and-drop presentation editor opens up a whole new world for data storytelling at work. To get started, just log in to Canva, choose the Flourish app and choose a project. You can learn more about the new integration in our help doc.
Both these upgrades are totally free. But if you’re new to Canva and you do decide to upgrade, Canva are offering anyone who had a Flourish account before today 50% off their first three months of Canva Pro. You can find your unique coupon and more details about the discount in your Flourish settings page.
Stay tuned for more news over time both here and on Canva. We’re already working on some exciting projects together that will improve data storytelling even further. In the meantime, a wholehearted thanks to everyone who has been involved in Flourish’s phase one. See you in phase two!