Canva and Deputy share App Growth Lessons

If you’re a startup looking to scale, you’ll want to listen up. Canva and Deputy, both Australian Unicorns, recently shared their growth lessons on an expert panel at a recent Tech Talk hosted by FIshburners in partnership with Contextual.


We gathered 1 growth developer – Raminder @ Deputy ( a cloud-based workforce management and scheduling platform designed to help companies organize, track, and manage their teams) and 1 growth marketer –  Francois @ Canva (a graphic design platform that is used to create social media graphics and presentations) plus a room full of startups – there they shared several interesting insights ranging across: user onboarding, activation and user feedback via exit surveys with loads of actionable tips to pick up and implement.


Francois shared an excellent anecdote about a successful leadgen hack he created  at his previous company “Vend” via a free inventory App that had massive pickup and which drove people towards their PoS solution. Raminder responded with a surprising feature that increased stickiness, value retention with their buyer persona.


Canva’s key to success, besides having an awesome product, is boosting monthly active users (MAUs) as their data shows that revenue will follow. Their team tracks metrics like team creation, conversions, retention, and trials. Meanwhile, Deputy prioritizes user retention and growing usage. One interesting metric Deputy shared was the number of work shifts booked, which is in the millions.


Both Canva and Deputy emphasized the importance of the “flywheel effect” in growing their user base. By tracking “invite activity” and increasing “virality”, product growth teams can better focus on driving growth, and development teams contribute to product decisions to facilitate growth.

The panel also highlighted the significance of tracking user retention and usage growth, with DAUs (daily active users) considered depending on the use case.  Additionally, creative growth hacks were shared as a means to fuel growth, such as creating presentations on Canva that lead non-users to the platform.


The importance of integrating growth strategies into core product decisions was another key takeaway. Canva and Deputy recognize that doing so is essential for sustainable growth.


In conclusion, startups can learn a lot from Canva and Deputy’s growth strategies. By tracking key metrics, leveraging the flywheel effect, and using creative growth hacks, startups can successfully scale their user base. Integrate growth strategies into core product decisions and prioritize user retention and usage growth, and you’re well on your way to driving growth for your startup.

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