The anger of a gen-y caused by user-unfriendly software became the reason for a start-up which is now the fifth-largest start-up in the world.
It was the year 2008, and Melanie Perkins was teaching part-time design programs at a University in Perth, Australia. Trying to make her students understand designs on tools on a large desktop made her frustrated.
Facebook had just started where people could easily jump on the platform and use it, but it took years to learn design tools. As per a conversation with Medium post in 2018, Melanie Perkins recalled how she wanted to make online design software that was simple and collaborative.
The innovative concept turned out to be a winning formula. According to Bloomberg news, another round of funding in Mid-September put the graphic design company, Canva valued at $40 Billion.
The new valuation ensured that the co-founders Melanie, 34, and her Husband Cliff Brecht, 35, get $5.90 billion each, according to a report from Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
According to data from CB Insights, a research firm, the latest round of funding makes the Sydney-based Canva the firth largest start-up in the world. This also makes the founder Melanie Perkins the richest female billionaire who is self-made and under 40.
Sequoia Capital Global equities and Franklin Templeton are among investors led by T. Rowe Price and others.
Headed Towards The Right Direction
Perkins and Obrecht got married this year and have no plans of slowing down. In an interview, Perkins, the CEO, said, “We are heading in the right direction, but we are not there yet. We want to make Canva one of the world’s most valuable companies.“
Perkins wants Canva designs to be ubiquitous and add to its users’ existing 7 billion designs. It should be omnipresent so that it ultimately replaces PDF resumes with more responsive web-based tools.
Canva is popular with marketers, bloggers, and students. It allows them to select and customize templates to make logos, banners, flyers, and T-shirt designs. It is used by more than 10 million users comprising students, teachers, and companies, including Zoom Inc, American Airlines, Skyscanner, Salesforce, Intel, PayPal, and Marriot International Inc. The company is on course to achieve $1 billion in revenue for the current year.
The Young Tech Billionaires
The co-founders own 30% each in the company, according to Bloomberg News, and accompanied by disclosure by Perkins to Medium post. Another co-founder, Cameron Adams, an ex-employee of Google, did not disclose his ownership details in the company.
Lachlan Andrews, a Canva spokesperson, declined to comment on the latest developments.
According to the Bloomberg index, the new valuations put Perkins and Obrecht as the 9th and 10th wealthiest people in Australia. They join fellow tech founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, who started Atlassian, a software development company.
Melanie Perkins is the second richest woman in Australia after Gina Rinehart, 67. The latter has $17.90 billion net worth derived mainly from the iron ore business.
Perkins announced in the latest Medium post that she and her husband would donate the majority of the Canva equity. The couple’s Canva Foundation aims to distribute $10 million to the poor in South Africa through a nonprofit GiveDirectly program.
In a statement, Perkins said that they felt strange when referred to as billionaires. According to her, the money never belonged to them, and they were merely the custodians. The intention was always there to give the wealth away in charity.