Startup News: Canva acquires UK-based startup Serif

Canva adds to its stable of design software

Canva, an Australia-based developer of design software, has announced the acquisition of Serif, a U.K.-based startup that produces the popular Affinity suite of design tools.

“By joining forces with Affinity, we’re excited to unlock the full spectrum of designers at every level and stage of the design journey,” Cava announced on its website last week.

Bloomberg wrote last week that Canva acquired Serif for a combination of cash and stock that, according to Canva’s CEO, totaled “several hundred million pounds,” the largest acquisition that Canva has made since its founding in 2012. Canva’s last-known valuation, as listed on Forge Global, was $26 billion as of January 2024.

According to Bloomberg, Canva, which is headquartered in Sydney, is now the leading competitor to Abode (ticker: ADBE), the largest provider of design software for graphics professionals. Adobe, based in Mountain View, CA, had a market capitalization of more than $228 billion last week, according to Yahoo Finance.

eGenesis and Precision Neuroscience announce medical advancements

Two biotech startups, eGenesis and Precision Neuroscience, reported major developments in their respective fields.

On March 21, Cambridge, MA based eGenesis announced that surgeons at Mass General Hospital had successfully transplanted a kidney from a pig the company had genetically modified into the body of a human adult male. And on March 22, Precision Neuroscience announced the launch of two clinical study sites that “represent a major step forward in understanding how the brain controls movement.”

In a press release discussing the first-ever successful pig kidney transplant into a human, eGenesis said that the patient had been suffering from end-stage kidney disease and lacked other medical options. “Following the procedure, the patient is in good condition and recovering well,” the company said in its press release.

EGenesis, which was founded in 2015, seeks to develop safe and effective transplantable animal organs to end the global human organ shortage and to improve the treatment of organ failure. In the past, kidneys harvested from pigs and other animals that haven’t been genetically modified ran the risk of being rejected by a human body.

In a recent Forbes article, eGenesis CEO Mike Curtis said that the company plans, in addition to kidney transplants, to use its gene-editing technology for use in liver and heart transplants during clinical trials in the coming two years. The company is listed on Forge Global with a valuation of $387.6 million, based on its last funding round in February 2021. EGenesis’ Forge Price™ was $1.95 as of March 28, 2024.

Meanwhile, Precision Neuroscience, a rival of Elon Musk’s Neuralink, announced that it was launching two new clinical study sites, at Mount Sinai Health System and Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Medicine).

“The cornerstone of the studies is Precision's brain implant, the Layer 7 Cortical Interface, a high-resolution electrode array comprising 1,024 miniature electrodes spanning an area of 1.5 square centimeters,” the company said.

Founded in 2021, New York City-based Precision Neurosciences, like Neuralink, focuses on producing brain implants that improve conditions for individuals with neurological disorders. Though its valuation hasn’t been publicly stated, Precision raised $41 million in a Series B round in January 2024, according to CNBC.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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