Pier Luigi Sigismondi
President, Dole Packaged Foods
Melanie Perkins is not only one of Australia’s best-known tech entrepreneurs — she's also the country’s youngest billionaire.
Perkins founded free-to-use online design platform Canva with her two partners in 2013, in part as a response to their frustrations with existing professional design tools.
“From day one, Canva was designed to empower the entire world to design anything, anywhere,” Perkins told Business Insider. “While we’ve come a long way on this mission, we’ve only done 1% of what we know is possible.”
The thinking behind Canva from the very start was to offer tools that would simplify the design process, especially for users who don’t necessarily have a design background. It was an attractive proposition and by 2012 was attracting investors, including celebrity backers Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson.
The company now has 30 million active users across 190 markets and is used by 85% of Fortune 500 companies. Over the past year it has doubled both revenue and user numbers.
In June the company raised $60 million in a funding round that was 10x oversubscribed, bringing its valuation to $6 billion. It followed an injection of $85 million last October.
Perkins has said the company wants to use the new funds to expand the Canva team, while investing more in its paid services, Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise.