Inside the Canva Empire: The $25.5B Vision of a 19-Year-Old Melanie Perkins | 652

Inside the Canva Empire: The $25.5B Vision of a 19-Year-Old Melanie Perkins | 652

Canva’s Melanie Perkins. From her parent’s lounge room in 2013, 32 year old Melanie Perkins invented Canva; an online design tool with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere. In 2023, Canva has just been valued at 25.5 billion dollars! It’s a rags to riches episode 652 of The (14 year-old, award-winning) Small Business Big Marketing podcast.


A little more about Canva founder Melanie Perkins …


In 2006, Melanie Perkins was a troubled 19 year-old teenager. Not by the usual stuff that troubles most people of that age. Oh no … something much more serious.

Melanie was troubled by the fact that desktop publishing software (like Adobe, CorelDraw and Photoshop) was complicated and hard to use. So, like any smart, young entrepreneur, she came up with a simple, elegant solution … starting small by launching a business making high school yearbook design easy.

It was a huge success, and following an unexpected meeting with a venture capitalist, she found herself able to pursue her original idea and the chance to take on the software industry giants of the desktop publishing world.

Fast forward to 2023, and Melanie’s online design platform Canva, has recently been valued at $25.5B, she employs over 2,500 staff who have no working hours or dress code, Canva has over 135 million active users … and here’s the interesting bit … Melanie thinks she’s only just scratched the surface of what’s possible.

This interview is from 2019 when I caught up with her in Canva’s new inner-Sydney 7-story office which resembles something more of an oversized cubby house for millenials, complete with a very cool rooftop garden, full commercial kitchen pumping out two home-cooked meals a day, a very funky, well-stocked bar, and all types of meeting booths and rooms and pods full of young folk getting stuff done.

I started off by asking Melanie what it feels like to be the founder of a company that (at the time) was valued at a tiny $3B?

Oh, and here’s the transcript of my interview with Melanie Perkins of Canva.




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