Inside Canva’s ‘magical’ new Sydney HQ as 1100+ staff join the ranks

Innovation

Despite no return-to-office mandate from Australia’s $40 billion design juggernauts, Canva is going all-in on a new Sydney campus in Surry Hills.

After acquiring a 12,000-square-metre office building in Surry Hills last year, reportedly for $120 million, Canva has unveiled its plans for a new Sydney campus.

The company, which was last valued at US$25.5 billion (AU$39 billion), is set to develop a high-rise building at 8 Kippax Street, with doors opening in 2026. It’s a heavy investment for the company, which has not enforced a return-to-work policy.

But, while there are no strict requirements for team members to work from an office space, Canva claims 59% of its Sydney team come into the office one or more times per week, and 25% of the team come in at least two days per week. The new Surry Hills campus will mark the company’s 8th campus location, after opening a new campus in Austin, Texas, in Melbourne and its first European campus in London (it has 7 co-working hubs).

Canva said 1,128 new employees joined the team globally, bringing its headcount to more than 4,000. 2023 also marked Canva’s seventh year of profitability.

Of the new location, Canva said it’s aiming to reuse the existing building as much as possible, and only rebuild where necessary to meet current standards and optimise sustainability.

“We’re disconnecting gas, powering all energy usage with renewable electricity, and introducing a green roof to foster biodiversity and generate green energy,” the company said in a blog post.

The new campus will also feature communal areas for cafes, bars, outdoor spaces, events, volunteering and collaborative work, as well as child-friendly zones, a gym, bike parking, e-charging stations and areas for meditation.

“We’re incredibly intentional about building magical physical spaces for our teams and community to come together around the world, and to bring our value of ‘Be a force for good’ to life,” Canva’s head of vibe, Chris Low, said. “We strive to embed our values while ensuring each campus feels uniquely local.”

Canva last made headlines for launching a $200 million fund for creators, which would see founders Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams pay creators to allow the company to train its AI models on their content.

“We have had an amazing relationship with our creators over the previous decade,” Adams said at the time.

“And we wanted to continue to have that as we go into the next decade of Canva. So it’s equally important for us to share the value that we’re developing in Canva with the creators who have been with us all these years. With the new Creator Fund, they get access to a royalty pool that is aligned with AI creations.”

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