Australia’s youngest billionaire catapults onto the top 10 richest list after her company was valued at a staggering $19.6billion – here’s how she made a fortune in just nine years
- Melanie Perkins and husband Cliff Obrecht own graphic design business Canva
- The pair are worth an estimated $3.43billion after further overseas investment
- Graphic design software platform now worth $19.6billion with 55 million users
Australia’s youngest billionaire has catapulted herself to the top of the rich list after fresh investment saw her company valued at a touch below $20billion.
Melanie Perkins founded graphic design software platform Canva in 2012 with husband Cliff Obrecht – and it’s soared in value every since after a series of investments and partnerships with global companies such as FedEx and Office Depot.
Canva is now valued at $19.6billion, which sees the couple with an estimated wealth of $3.43billion according to AFR, which would see them into the top 10 on Australia’s rich list joining media magnate Kerry Stokes and Westfield founder Frank Lowy.
Australia’s youngest billionaire Melanie Perkins has catapulted herself to the top of the rich list after fresh investment saw her company valued just below $20billion
Ms Perkins previously told Daily Mail Australia how she dreamed up the idea for a graphics design business from her mother’s couch
The Perth-born Ms Perkins became the third richest woman in the country in 2020 as her and her husband’s business flourished, and said her biggest aim was to make ‘one of the world’s most valuable companies’.
Ms Perkins previously told Daily Mail Australia how she dreamed up the idea for a graphics design business from her mother’s couch while studying a first-year digital media subject at university in 2005.
Canva was first founded in 2012 and now has around 30 million users across almost 200 countries.
New investment from a fresh round of fundraising saw a US$71 million injection – driving the company’s value to $19.6billion.
The Perth-born Ms Perkins became the third richest woman in the country in 2020 as her and her husband’s business flourished
New investment from a fresh round of fundraising saw a US$71 million injection – driving the company’s value to $19.6billion
MELANIE PERKINS’ TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Ms Perkins says a big tip for companies to reach success is to ‘dream big’
Setting realistic goals and how to achieve them will also impact a business’ success
Create a workplace culture where everyone is working towards the same dream, not competing with each other to be the best
Take the time to celebrate when teams reach their goals. ‘It means that when a team hits their goal, they feel recognition from the whole company,’ she said.
Have a workplace where people want to come to work
The 33-year-old billionaire also encouraged others to never give up, crediting sheer determination as her biggest success
They say they’ve doubled their monthly users in the last year to now boast 55 million customers around the world.
Their staff has ballooned to 1500 – including 600 at their headquarters in Sydney.
While studying the 33-year-old fell in love with graphic design and quickly found herself being invited to teach workshops to students in other faculties.
Ms Perkins found most people struggled to use the clunky software, so she developed a business idea.
‘It was really complex and difficult, and it would take the entire semester to just learn where the buttons were on the software,’ she said.
‘At the same time Facebook was taking off, and it was so easy to use and everyone was on it.
‘And I just had this belief that in the future it wasn’t going to be as complex to do design work.’
Her first company, Fusion Books, allowed schools and students to make their own yearbooks.
She had no business or marketing experience but said her inexperience gave her the confidence that it wouldn’t be too difficult to start a company from scratch.
‘My boyfriend became my co-founder and we started in my mum’s living room,’ she said.
‘Our naivety in some ways helped us … If I knew at the time all the things I didn’t know it would have been intimating.’