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An artistic triumph: Canva’s value soars three-fold

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From Instagram posts to water bottles, the design network that can turn anyone into an artist is now worth fortunes.

Canva, the online design platform now worth billions

The value of design platform Canva has increased almost three-fold, with the once $15 billion company now worth $40 billion USD.

It comes after a funding round led by T.Rowe Price helped raise 200 million dollars for the company.

AirTree adventures, Blackbird and Dragoneer Investments were among the new and pre-existing investment companies that contributed to the deal.

It’s a win for the Australian tech scene, painting Canva as one of the most valuable software companies online.

The graphic design platform enables anyone to be a star designer, no matter the level of experience.

From videos to t-shirts, Canva offers a range of templates across their easy-to-use platform, providing a convenient and easy experience for the user.

A step into the future of design

Co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins says the goal of her platform is to replace PDF documents.

“Rather than people sending PDFs backwards and forwards between the designer and the client, designers can just create a template for organisation use,” Perkins says.

“It’s less important for us to absolutely excel at things like vector design because there are amazing programs on the market that may be there.”

“We really want to focus on that collaboration piece.”

How will the funding help?

The extra cash will be splashed on hiring two thousand workers, doubling their existing team where 42 percent of their workforce are women.

The extra funding also means the company is able to fulfill their dreams of further growing their business.

Web design, video editing and offline mode are all other features the platform is hoping to offer their growing user base, which is something the extra money can help them launch.

Perkins says it’s the funding from the investors that helps the platform remain to an extent free.

“We intentionally make our free product extremely generous for a number of reasons,”

“It means that people are able to love the product, share it with their friends and family, and promote it on social media, and then that virality really rapidly fuels our growth.”

Today, Canva has over 60 million users across 190 countries.

A number of big-name companies also use the platform, paying for their premium enterprise service.

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Google CEO condemns AI blunders in staff memo

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In response to recent controversies surrounding Google’s artificial intelligence blunders, CEO Sundar Pichai issued a memo to employees, addressing the company’s missteps and outlining plans for improvement.

The memo comes after Google faced criticism for flaws in its Gemini image-generation feature, leading to the tool being taken offline for further testing. Pichai described the issues as “problematic” and acknowledged that they “have offended our users and shown bias,” according to reports first surfaced by Semafor.

The Gemini image generator, introduced earlier this month as part of Google’s main group of AI models, allows users to input prompts to create images.

However, users discovered historical inaccuracies in the generated images, prompting widespread backlash online.

Consequently, Google removed the feature last week, stating its intention to relaunch it after addressing the issues.

Google Gemini

Pichai expressed regret over the offensive responses produced by the AI system, emphasising that such behavior is “completely unacceptable.”

He emphasised the challenges of developing AI technology, acknowledging that perfection is elusive, particularly in the nascent stages of the industry’s evolution.

Nevertheless, Pichai stressed that Google recognizes the high standards expected of them.

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Slack CEO has advice for turning off work notifications

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In an era dominated by constant connectivity, Slack CEO Denise Dresser emphasises the importance of setting boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

As leaders grapple with the challenges of an always-on culture, Dresser suggests that modeling certain behaviors can help alleviate the pressures faced by employees in today’s hyper-connected workplace.

Dresser, who assumed the CEO role last November, advocates for leaders to establish clear boundaries to prevent employees from feeling overwhelmed by the demands of modern work.

Rather than implementing new company policies, she believes that leaders can effectively shape the organisational culture by exemplifying healthy work practices.

Proactive measures

Victoria Mills, CEO of Hello Coach, echoes Dresser’s sentiments, emphasising the need for proactive measures to foster work-life balance.

Mills encourages her staff to disconnect by turning off notifications after 5pm and questions the necessity of installing work apps on personal devices.

Recognising the pervasive nature of technology, Mills underscores the importance of individuals taking control of their digital interactions. She advises employees to manage notifications and settings to prevent technology from dictating their lives.

In addition to individual efforts, Hello Coach implements company-wide initiatives to promote well-being, such as mandatory lunch breaks devoid of meetings or messages.

Mills believes that frequent breaks are essential for maintaining energy levels and productivity, particularly for employees spending prolonged hours in front of screens.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook announces AI timeframe

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In a recent announcement during Apple’s annual shareholder meeting, CEO Tim Cook revealed that the tech giant intends to provide more insight into its utilization of generative artificial intelligence later in the year.

Cook expressed Apple’s enthusiasm for the potential of generative AI, highlighting its capacity for breakthroughs in productivity and problem-solving.

Despite lagging behind competitors like Microsoft and Google in incorporating generative AI into products, Cook assured shareholders of Apple’s ongoing investment in this area.

“While AI is already integrated into Apple’s products behind the scenes, we are committed to unveiling more explicit AI features in the near future,” Cook stated.

Enhanced search

Apple’s plans reportedly include utilising AI to enhance data search capabilities across its devices, a move previously hinted at by Bloomberg.

Cook emphasised the prowess of Apple silicon-powered Macs as leading AI machines in today’s market.

However, shareholders voted against a proposal urging Apple to disclose further details about its AI practices and ethical guidelines.

The proposal, presented by the pension trust of AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor union federation, sought transparency regarding AI usage and ethical considerations within Apple’s operations.

Similar propositions have been raised at other tech firms, indicating growing concerns over AI ethics and transparency. AFL-CIO’s request specifically called for disclosures on AI training procedures and guidelines for utilizing copyrighted materials and personal likenesses.

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