Each day, millions of people use some photo editing app to enhance their images for social media. With the growing use of social media apps, the demand for designing apps, such as Canva, Luminar AI, Adobe InDesign, etc., is also rising. 

Canva, being an easy-to-use and freely available designing platform, has become most people’s favorite graphic designing application. Founded in 2012 by Melanie Perkins (CEO), Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams, it is headquartered in Sidney, Australia. 

Canva was developed to counteract the complexity of designing tools like Photoshop by making a design tool that was simple to use, intuitive, and accessible with a few clicks.

Its features, like screen size adjustment, drag & drop, and numerous templates, made it the most popular tool for creating images for different purposes. 

As per CrunchBase, the total funding amount that Canva has raised is $572.6 million. 

If you want to build a SaaS platform like Canva, this blog will explain every aspect, from the development process to cost and features.

Why Is Canva So Popular?

Canva is a graphic design tool that people can use to edit images and create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content. It provides businesses, organizations, and individuals with a designing platform through which they can visualize their design ideas.

The primary reason for the increasing popularity of Canva is the ease of design, where users can create visuals without much hassle or prior training. Consequently, many people choose Canva over complex design tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, or Figma. 

The effortless drag-and-drop user interface of Canva makes designing so easy that even beginners can easily create a beautiful and professional graphic effortlessly. There are a variety of pre-designed and ready-to-use templates, fonts, colors, frames, and filters available on Canva that makes the design quick and enjoyable. Consequently, the number of SaaS app development companies providing services of this transformative technology is rising.

What are the Monetization Strategies of Canva?

Canva Make-Money

Operating on a freemium SaaS-based model, Canva provides the basic plan for free. It contains enough features to design any infographics or edit a video effortlessly. However, to get additional features, Canva offers paid subscription plans. In total, there are three pricing models for Canva: Free, Pro, and Enterprise.

Different monetization methods of Canva that you can use in your mobile app development idea are given below:

  • Premium Version

With the Pro plan, Canva provides access to premium tools and content. It also offers an Enterprise pricing plan, where an entire team of a minimum of 25 people can manage and scale their content in one place. Also, this plan contains additional benefits suitable for a brand.

  • Canva Marketplace

Designers can list their design on the Canva marketplace and earn royalties when their graphic is purchased. In exchange, Canva will charge a 35% commission for each design sold. 

  • Canva Courses

Canva provides a series of courses, including all the parameters of design, social media marketing, and branding. These courses give tutorials to the users as well as promote the platform. Users can take online courses for free but have to pay for offline classes.

  • Print Service

Canva provides printing services to its consumers, where users can print their designs on various objects, including t-shirts, invitations, flyers, banners, etc. Canva also ships the print design to more than 30 countries, and the price varies accordingly.

Must-Have Features For Your Canva App

Canva empowers its users to create designs without prior training or experience effortlessly. Canva provides its users with the following features, which will help you in its mobile app development process.

  •  Account Creation and Authentication

Every user must create an account using their credentials, which is essential to keep track of account activity and authentication. You can sign up on Canva via email or social media accounts. 

  • Picture Editing

Canva provides various photo editing features to the users, using which they can easily edit their images. Some of these features are:

  1. Template customization as per your needs.
  2. Background remover.
  3. Preset grid or collage template to build a montage.
  4. Search from stock images to insert background, animations, icons, buttons, clip art, symbols, etc.
  5. Supporting different file formats, including JPG, PNG, PDF, etc.
  6. Collaborate with your teammates to work together on your projects.
  • Video Editing

  1. Add a title, description, or caption to your video to make your video more interactive.
  2. Add background music to your videos.
  3. Convert your video to MP4 for easy editing using the video to MP4 converter tool.
  4. Use Canva’s GIF to video converter to convert your GIF to videos.
  5. Create a photo montage to tell a visual story.
  6. Merge different videos to design a complete visual story.
  7. Add transitions to your videos and give them a seaming look and feel.

If you want to know how to develop a video editing tool, read our video editing app development guide.

  • Content Planner

Schedule the posts on Pinterest, Facebook, etc., through a content planner, which will save time and streamline your work.

  • Customization

Users can customize the tool interface and make the changes per their preferences.

  • Unique Filters

Adding unique textures through filters can give a tedious image a unique look.

  • PDF Editor

Canva enables its users to edit PDFs free of cost. Also, allow them to download the file in formats like PPT, SVG, or Print-ready PDF files. 

Team Structure and Permissions in Canva


The Administrator will define the roles of team members. Its roles are as follows:

  1. Managing team members and the team settings.
  2. Setting and editing the Brand Kit and maintaining the brand consistency.
  3. Publishing design templates for the team to edit.
  4. Scheduling posts to social media via Content planner.
  • Team Owner and Members

The team owner has the same role as the Administrator. Members and team owner’s roles are responsibilities are defined below:

  1. The team owner can create the team.
  2. The team owner has permission to delete the team.
  3. Members can access and edit the design template, which is shareable with everyone on the team.
  • Template Designer

The role of the template designer in the team is given below:

  1. Setting and editing the Brand Kit.
  2. Creating designs as per the Brand Kit.
  3. Publishing design templates for the team to edit.
  4. Scheduling posts to social media via Content planner.

Note: The features given above are some popular ones to add to your platform. There can be more features you can integrate into your app. Also, these features are a blend of all the pricing plans.

Want to know more about SaaS? Read our complete guide on SaaS product development.

Technology Stack to Develop Canva

There are several factors to consider while developing Canva, and one such parameter is tech stack. Therefore, you must hand over your project to an experienced SaaS product development company that can take care of all these aspects effectively.

Incorporating the latest technologies into a web or mobile application will make it stand apart and provide a competitive edge on the market. Some of the latest technologies to integrate into your Canva app are given below:

  • Mobile SDK: iOS and Android.
  • Real-Time Analytics: Big Data, Google Analytics, Hadoop, etc.
  • Website Front-End: Angular.JS, React.JS, etc.
  • Back-End Development: Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, etc.
  • Location Tracking: Google Maps and Apple Maps.
  • Notifications: Push.IO, Twilio, Amazon SNS, Map, AdPushup, etc.
  • Cloud Storage: Google Cloud Storage, Amazon Cloud Storage, etc.
  • Messaging: Twilio, Firebase, etc.
  • QR Codes Scanning: ZBar bar code reader.
  • Databases: MySQL, Cassandra, HBase, MongoDB, etc.
  • Payment Gateways: Net Banking, Stripe, PayPal, etc.

How Much Does it Cost to Build Canva?

Several factors impact the overall mobile app development cost of Canva. Integrating the unique features or thoroughly testing the application to ensure its smooth working, all of these aspects will affect the financial estimation.

The parameters mentioned below will help to define the average cost of developing an app like Canva:

  • Mobile Platform

Being a SaaS platform, while the desktop application is the core of Canva, it is necessary to have mobile apps to stand out in the competition. The cost of developing  Canva will depend on the number of platforms you choose to deploy your app. 

You can pick a Native app platform, either Android or iOS, to build your app or use hybrid app development with technologies like Flutter or React Native.

  • Development Team Size

If you have the requirement of standard features, you might need a small team of developers, which will cost you less. However, with complex features and third-party application integration, you need to hire mobile app developers who have years of expertise and form a big team, which will cost you more. It is essential to define the complexity of the application so that you can spend on the development team accordingly.

  • UI/UX Design 

Another essential aspect you need to consider while estimating the development cost of  Canva is the application’s design. The more you spend on the UI/UX design; you can ensure a user-friendly and attractive layout of the application. 

  • Technology Stack

Your application must run smoothly on different devices and consist of the latest technologies. You can include advanced technologies like Chatbots, AI, ML, etc., to enhance the app’s functionality. However, it will affect the pricing accordingly.

  • Third-party API Integration

The number of third-party applications you choose to integrate into your SaaS application will also influence the final cost estimation.

  • App Testing

Rigorous testing is required to ensure the smooth functioning of the application. Therefore, ensure you hire an experienced QA team to test your app and make it error-free.

Based on the factors mentioned above, you can make the final estimation of the development cost. After thoroughly analyzing all these parameters, developing Canva will cost $12,000 to $30,000 (or more with the complex features).


Canva is undoubtedly an excellent design tool, preferred by many professionals and learners. With the increasing demand for SaaS-based platforms, it would be the right choice to hire a mobile app development company and begin building your product like Canva.

The skilled SaaS product developers of SparxIT provide next-gen software solutions. From the discovery phase to maintenance & support, we take care of every aspect of SaaS product development.

Don’t know where to begin? Send your details in the comment section, and we will arrange a virtual call for a private consultation.

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