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Australian Unicorn Canva Snaps Up Pexels and Pixabay

Founders of both photo sites were inspired by the potential of Canva's strong global presence
Australian Unicorn Canva Snaps Up Pexels and Pixabay
Image credit: Canva
Entrepreneur Staff
Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
3 min read


After achieving the unicorn status, Australia-based Canva has no plans of slowing down. The online design and publishing platform is adding more than one million free stock photos, vectors and illustrations to its kitty by joining forces with Pexels and Pixabay, and launching Photos Unlimited, a new “Netflix-style” subscription model for more affordable paid stock photography.

Melanie Perkins, chief executive officer and co-founder at Canva, says with the rise of design literacy, people needed more options for stock content to suit their needs.

“We believe everyone should have access to great design ingredients for their visuals; this is why free content will always play a central role in Canva’s vision of democratizing design. Together with Pexels and Pixabay, we’ll be able to help people discover a whole new world of amazing, fresh content. With over 1 million images downloaded over 500 million times on their platforms combined, both Pexels and Pixabay have proven that there is a huge demand for free quality content from small businesses, social media marketers and others — not just from designers and companies with big budgets,” shares Perkins.

On top of providing free stock content, Canva has also announced the roll-out of Photos Unlimited, a world-first stock photography subscription model offering unprecedented “all you can consume” access to a library of an additional tens of millions of premium stock photos, at an affordable monthly subscription of only US$12.95 (or US$120.00 per annum) — as opposed to paying hundreds of dollars for a single image sourced from other libraries - giving designers even more choices, and the freedom to use any photo for anything, anywhere.

What Worked For Canva?

Both the founders of Pexels and Pixabay were inspired by their collective vision to democratize content and the potential of Canva’s strong global presence.

Pexels cofounder Ingo Joseph says, “There’s a lot of synergy between Canva and Pexels - it’s a perfect match. No other design platform truly believes in the mission of empowering the world to design like Canva, and providing free stock content is central to their mission. Today’s announcement signifies a huge step forward in the right direction. We’re on our way to put an end to cheesy stock photos and open the doors to more authentic, trending content for free.”

Content from Pexels and Pixabay will be discoverable in Canva, and completely free under a Creative Commons CC0 licence.

Pixabay cofounder Hans Braxmeier adds, “The vision of Pixabay is to become the Wikipedia for free media. Therefore, the community has always been our core focus and a testament to our continued success at Pixabay. We knew right from the start that we wanted to expose our talented contributors to highly engaged audience and showcase their work. We also knew that we wanted to empower creators who are hungry for content sourced from all around the globe — this is why we’re thrilled to partner with Canva to continue on our mission of revolutionizing the free stock media space.”

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