The husband-wife team drives this startup to locations – with design and evaluation


In 2008 Melanie Perkins, founder and CEO of Sydney-based Canva, discovered that at a time when Facebook was taking off – people could jump in and use it so easily – clunky design tools took years of development. training to learn.

“I wanted to make design software simple, online, and collaborative,” Perkins previously recalled in an average article.

Guess what, the formula worked. Canva is currently valued at $ 40 billion after the Australian design collaboration platform raised $ 200 million in new capital last week. This gave Perkins, 34, and her husband and co-founder Cliff Obrecht, 35 (both owners of 30% of the company) a fortune of $ 5.9 billion each, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. .

According to the same index, the wife-husband duo became the 9th and 10th richest in Australia after the last round of funding, led by T. Rowe Price Group Inc, and including the participation of Franklin Templeton, Sequoia Capital Global Equities and others. .

At the age of 19, Perkins became a business partner with Cliff Obrecht and the duo launched their first design platform, Fusion Books. Then, in 2013, Cameron Adams joined the team and the three launched Canva to make it easier to design logos, posters or business cards. Users can upload photos or select stock images and use preset filters and fonts to personalize designs.

Canva is popular with bloggers, students, and marketers who can select templates and then customize them to create logos, resumes, flyers, or even t-shirt designs. The platform can be used to design anything for work and play: from presentations, videos, marketing materials to just about anything users might want to design.

The Sydney-based company, which has more than 60 million monthly active users in 190 countries, plans to double the size of its workforce in the coming year, having already increased the number of employees to around 2,000, up from 1,000 last year.

Canva’s valuation nearly tripled from $ 15 billion just five months ago when it raised $ 71 million. It is now the fifth most valued startup in the world after ByteDance Ltd., Stripe Inc., SpaceX and Klarna Bank AB, according to data from research firm CB Insights. The Sydney-based company was valued at $ 6 billion in June 2020 and $ 3.2 billion at the end of 2019.

“We want to build one of the most valuable businesses in the world,” CEO Melanie Perkins said recently in a video interview in Sydney and to her delight, Canva is already one of the most valuable private software companies. .

“We are moving in the right direction, but we are not there yet,” she said.

In her last average post, Perkins said, along with her husband, that they would donate the vast majority of Canva stock.

“We’re excited to share another dimension – something Cliff and I have wished for since our beginnings. Although Canva’s equity has increased, our intention has always been to use the vast majority of that wealth to do good in the world. It was weird when people called us “billionaires” because it was never our money, we always felt like we were purely its stewards. “

“We are very happy to announce that Cliff and I will be devoting the vast majority of our equity (30% of Canva) to doing good in the world, and plan to do so through the Canva Foundation,” a said Perkins.

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