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How Linkby Used Canva to Raise $5m To Help D2C Brands Get More Editorial Coverage

About Linkby

Having founded Australia’s most successful independent digital publishing brand, Pedestrian.tv, Chris Wirisinha knew that for his next business, he wanted to help publishers all over the globe better compete with the likes of Google and Facebook. So in February 2020, alongside Adrian Fagerlund and Andrew Chak, he co-founded Linkby, which enables direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands to gain more editorial coverage with premium news and lifestyle publications around the world.

Linkby’s platform creates simple cost-per-click campaigns on behalf of brands so the publishers that feature them within their editorial content are renumerated for every click driven back to the brand’s website, successfully helping to deliver millions of dollars back into publisher’s hands, globally. It’s a win for the advertisers too, who can scale up and amplify their editorial coverage while staying focussed on performance, driving sales and the return on their investment. Since its inception, Linkby has already helped to connect brands such as Allbirds, Lululemon, Monica Vinader and Article with publishers as wide-ranging as The Daily Mail, Buzzfeed and Forbes.

In less than two years, Linkby has expanded its base from Sydney, Australia, to the United Kingdom and United States of America, with further expansion through Europe and Asia planned for 2022.

The Challenge

As Linkby outgrew its bootstrapped origins and expanded globally it needed to raise funds to scale and capitalize on the opportunity. Adopting a visual design platform that would support the Linkby team to raise capital in the most frictionless way possible was an important decision for CEO and Co-founder, Chris Wirasinha.

“Linkby is a business built on the value of creativity and content to sell products, so we knew our presentation and design to raise money had to be exceptional. But we also wanted to be able to move fast and adapt, as our business continued to grow throughout the raise process. We needed to be able to present materials that could be quickly updated in real-time as our numbers increased, and we also knew that each subsequent meeting would see us tweak and evolve our pitch,” he said.

Linkby already used Canva across all design elements of the business, from the creation of its sales and marketing decks globally, to Facebook ads and other creative marketing tools. Although using Canva made sense to Chris and the team, initially the more formal and financial nature of raising money felt like it went hand in hand with a default presentations platform. But attracted by Canva’s on-brand designs and ease of presentation, they decided to lean into using Canva’s innovative platforms which allowed them to meet their goal of showcasing Linkby as a digitally-focused challenger company that creates a whole new way for brands and publishers to work together.

“Ultimately, we trusted our instinct and decided to use Canva’s tools for all the presentation elements of our VC raise,” he said.

The solution

Presentations that won investors

Linkby incorporated all elements of Canva’s presentation features for their meetings with Australian and global VC funds. This allowed Linkby to get a real head-start designing visual, impactful presentations with ease using Canva’s extensive templates and content library. Canva’s access across devices and real-time collaboration helped Linkby iterate on-the-go, and confidently present with live links that allowed seamless switching between presentations and site demonstrations, all within one browser.

Consistent style guides for easy creation

Canva’s innovative features like Brand Kit and presentations meant that all Linkby’s style guides and resources were centralized, ensuring the team’s coherent delivery when showcasing their full range assets. It allowed for VC presentations that were rich with impactful imagery while being refined and creatively consistent.

Moving faster with real-time collaboration

Canva empowered the Linkby team to bring their ideas to life through frictionless, real-time collaboration, enhancing productivity by allowing each member to tap into the know-how and assets that were created by all team members across the platform.

Quotation mark
“Ultimately we trusted our instinct and decided to use Canva’s tools for all the presentation elements of our VC raise”

Chris Wirasinha

CEO & Co-founder

The ROI

The relief of closing an investment round is equal parts exhilarating but can also feel like limping across the finish line of a marathon (it can be exhausting). But Chris and the Linkby team were thrilled with the results.

“We were lucky enough to close a $5 million round to help fuel our international growth which if you’re looking for return on investment is about as big as it gets for a platform. In the scheme of our cloud-based apps, [Canva] is so cost-effective given how much of our sales, marketing, investor relations and communications stack it supports,” Chris said.

For Chris, in closing the VC round there was an element of coming full circle, “The Sydney start-up scene is a close-knit community and I still remember being blown away when I got to have lunch with Mel at the Canva offices in Surry Hills back in 2015. It’s been amazing to watch the growth of Cavna and being able to use their market leading tools to help build Linkby that will hopefully become another great Australian success story.”

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