As a 19-year-old studying at the University of Perth, Melany used to teach her fellow classmates design programs more easily than Microsoft and Adobe as they were a little complicated to understand and by doing so, she made a little income on the side. Just then, in the year 2006, she got the idea to create a platform that would do the work of tech giants like Adobe but in a much easier way.
She felt that learning about design tools the whole semester was ridiculous and decided to launch a much easier place with the compilation of all the design tools that would make designing easy and accessible to everyone. A vision that she soon made into reality along with her then classmate Cliff Obrecht.
Started With Yearbooks
With little experience, Melany Perkins and Cliff Obrecht took out a loan and created a small online yearbook design tool to test their idea. It offered students to design their yearbooks for free using the easy, inbuilt designs, ideas and then, they printed and delivered those yearbooks across Australia. Very soon, the business idea was a huge success and the idea spread to America, New Zealand, and Europe too and remains active even today.
Just when everyone thought that Melany’s dreams came true, she called her success the “first step” of a “big-crazy dream.” Both Melany and Cliff knew that their vision was beyond a yearbook.
When her yearbook received success, she worked towards her dream of a one-stop-shop design platform, Canva, with utmost confidence and excitement. In the year 2010, she started chasing investors and soon received her first break when Silicon Valley investor Bill Tai invited her to San Francisco to pitch her idea and was clearly impressed that he started connecting her with contacts who would help her.
Melany Perkins with Cliff Obrecht, her now-fiancee and co-founder of Canva, soon won some of the major investors to fund the company. In 2012, Canva became one of the fast-growing tech platforms but they felt the need for a strong tech team that would support their business. Soon, they brought in Cameron Adams as the new co-founder and a tech developer in Dave Hearnden. Eventually, celebrities like Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson backed the company as investors.
With an efficient core team, trustful investors, advisors, and dedicated employees in the form of designers, developers, artists, marketers, Canva had a team that anyone could ever ask for and were soon unstoppable!
In the year 2019, with $85 million funding, the company valuation hit higher marks than expected. Perkins and Obrecht plan to use the funds to expand the company’s paid services, Canva pro and Canva for Enterprise.
To date, Canva has helped create 2 billion designs with access to nearly 190 countries across the globe. Any youngster would dream of starting a company, but the credit of deciding to start a company that would compete with tech giants like Microsoft and Adobe only belongs to Melany Perkins! With the funding and her Strategy, Perkins hopes to reach one step closer to her dream of competing with Microsoft and Adobe.
Melany Perkins is now a 33-year-old CEO and co-founder of Canva, from publishing yearbooks to establishing the easiest design platform with 32 billion users worldwide that’s worth 3.2 billion dollars, Melany Perkins still believes this is just the beginning of an incredible story that lies ahead!