In the ever-evolving landscape of tech startups, few stories are as inspiring as that of Melanie Perkins, the CEO and co-founder of Canva. Her journey to Canva began while she was teaching graphic design to university students. She noticed the struggles students faced with expensive and complicated graphic design software. Determined to simplify graphic design for everyone, she embarked on a remarkable journey.
Her first venture, ‘Fusion Books,’ an online yearbook creator, yielded astounding results. However, a lack of funding prevented her from scaling it up. Undeterred, she welcomed co-founder Cliff Obrecht and later, Cameron Adams, co-founder of Google Maps, into the Canva family.
Melanie Perkins encountered her fair share of rejections from potential investors who found her ambitious plans too audacious. Yet, her determination knew no bounds. For every “no,” she received, she kept refining her strategy and pitch deck until she secured that pivotal “yes.” Today, Canva stands as a testament to her sheer grit.
Canva’s journey began in 2013, and today, boasts a valuation of $26 billion, with 135 million monthly users, making it one of the most valued startups led by a woman founder. What’s truly remarkable is the creation of over 1 billion designs at a rate of 33 designs per second. With over 500 dedicated team members, Canva continues to grow from strength to strength.
Melanie Perkins’ story is not just about financial success. It’s a testament to unwavering determination and innovation in the tech world. Her impact on investors has been monumental, with Blackbird’s $3 million investment growing by 337 times.
Melanie’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is simple but profound: solve a real problem, and start small before aiming big. Canva exemplifies these principles, making graphic design accessible to all.
Beyond her entrepreneurial success, Melanie Perkins champions causes related to poverty elimination and equal representation. Her journey exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship—a business built with heart and a disruptive mindset. Melanie Perkins and Canva’s success story serve as an inspiration to those aspiring to leave their mark on the digital landscape.
Re-reported from the article originally published in Forbes and supplemented with key information from Devan Bhalla’s LinkedIn post.