Canva, the Australian graphic design platform, advised by E+H Eisenberger + Herzog, acquired all shares in the successful Austrian start-up Kaleido AI GmbH, a specialist in the field of visual AI (artificial intelligence). Closing took place in February 2021 following the approval by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs under the new Austrian Investment Control Act (Investitionskontrollgesetz). The deal is one of the largest acquisitions in Austrian startup history,” according to Kaleido. The parties agreed to keep the purchase price confidential.
The up-and-coming founders of Kaleido AI – Benjamin Grössing and DI David Fankhauser – have succeeded in developing an AI-based “unscreen” product that could become a game changer in the film and television industry. Using a special AI algorithm, users can remove the background from images and videos automatically with unprecedented precision and speed. On ‘Product Hunt’, an innovation search platform, Kaleido AI made it to #1 in Spring 2020.
For Canva, which is already known worldwide for a wide range of graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content for social media, the acquisition represents a strategic expansion of its product range in the direction of digital media innovation.
The transaction was led by E+H Partner Philipp Nidal Karaman in cooperation with Canva’s inhouse team: Todd Carpenter (Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Development at Canva); Kirk Simmons (Head of Legal at Canva); Morgan Schwartz (Legal Counsel at Canva) and Sandie Parker (Head of Tax at Canva).
Advisors to Canva
E+H: Mag. Dr. Philipp Nidal Karaman (Partner, Corporate/M&A); Dr. Jana Eichmeyer (Partner, Employment Law); Mag. Judith Feldner (Partner, Antitrust Law); Dr. Helmut Liebel (Partner, IP/IT); Dr. Karolin Andréewitch (Attorney, Employment Law); Mag. Christian Cacic (Associate, Banking & Finance Law); Mag. Michael Lins (Associate, Corporate/M&A); William Redl, BSc, LL.B., LL.M. (Associate, Antitrust Law); Michael Staudinger, LL.M. (Associate, IP/IT); Mag. Martin Zankl, LL.M., LL.B. oec (Associate, Corporate/M&A).