Melanie Perkins is the 32-year-old founder of the Canva graphic design program, which, thanks to an increase in the number of users during the coronavirus pandemic, has reached a valuation of $ 6 billion. This makes Canva the most valuable private company in Australia, surpassing Hancock Prospecting’s assessments of the wealthiest Australian Gina Rinehart and the late Richard Platt’s Visy Industries. Canva is on the run – it has just closed a $ 60 million round of funding from venture capitalists around the world. Perkins co-founded Canva with his 34-year-old fiancée Cliff Obrecht. She is now the third richest person in Australia and the youngest billionaire in the country.
Perkins was born in Perth, Australia. She has been an entrepreneur since her adolescence. At 14, she started making handmade scarves that were sold in stores in Perth. She attended Sacred Heart College in a suburb of Perth, then went on to study at the University of Western Australia, also in Perth, to study communications, psychology and business. She gave up, however, because she had an idea for a company called Fusion Books, which she started. It is a design tool for high school yearbooks and a precursor to its breakthrough with Canva. When Perkins was 19, she started teaching other students how to conceive. This led her to launch Fusion Books, where students could essentially create their own directories using a simple drag-and-drop tool. In the first five years, Fusion Books became the largest directory company in Australia, similar to Jostens in the United States. Fusion Books also expanded into neighboring New Zealand and further into France during its first five years of operation.
In 2012, Perkins alongside co-founders Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams launched Canva. The company is a web and mobile graphic design platform where users can create graphics for social media, posters, presentations and other content. In its first year of operation, Canva had over 750,000 users. In 2015, the company launched Canva for Work, to give businesses a simple platform for creating marketing materials. Canva has had several recent funding rounds, including $ 40 million in early 2018, which valued the company at more than $ 1 billion. In May 2019, Canva raised an additional $ 70 million, which valued it at $ 2.5 billion. In October 2019, the company raised $ 85 million to value Canva at $ 3.2 billion. In addition, Canva had no problem raising funds during the coronavirus pandemic, as evidenced by its recent $ 60 million funding cycle. Melanie Perkins’ net worth was north of $ 1 billion before the last valuation. She is CEO of Canva and has 950 employees in three offices in Sydney, Australia; Manila, Philippines; and Beijing, China. Alongside a who’s who of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson are also investors in Perkins.
Today, Canva has more than 30 million active users each month. During the pandemic, Canva, unlike most companies, increased and hired. The company hired 60 new employees at the Sydney office during the pandemic. In 2018, the company achieved sales of $ 86.3 million. Canva has almost doubled in size since September 2019, which is why it has sought additional funding.
Could the Canva IPO be so far?