Canva: The Graphic Design Giant’s Founders Made Billions by Making Things Simple, Here’s How.


Let’s face it: not everyone can work with the likes of Adobe Creative Suite programs. For many, it’s too complicated and a bit intimidating. But what if you need some graphic designs, but you have no desire to learn these applications’ intricacies? That’s where Canva comes in.

Canva founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, alongside Chief Product Officer Cameron Adams, founded the company in 2013. It has since then grown insanely massive. The Sydney-based startup is now valued at USD $15 billion due to increased usage of the site since the pandemic began. As a result, Canva is now one of the most popular online tools in this age of remote working.

As of this writing, Perkins and Obrecht have become billionaires, owning a 15% stake (around USD $2 billion) in the company they co-founded, and it seems like their fortune is only going to grow bigger. Adams’ stake, however, is unknown.

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Humble Beginnings

Canva and its main idea was the brainchild of the then 19-year-old Perkins, who was a university student with Obrecht in 2006, according to a report by CNBC. Back then, the young woman was already into graphic design. And as a way of earning some income using her skills, she taught her fellow students how to use a handful of design programs.

The people she tutored, however, felt that programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and the likes are too complicated to learn, let alone master. Perkins then thought that there has to be a better, less-intimidating way for anyone to get into graphic design and publishing.

As such, Perkins took over her mother’s living room with Obrecht to start an online business that catered to designing school yearbooks. Called Fusion Books, it was basically a prototype version of Canva where students can collaborate and design their own yearbooks. The two would then print these out and send them to schools all over Australia.

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Trekking Across Silicon Valley

Four years after they began, Obrecht, Perkins, and Adams managed to get their big break.

While in Palo Alto, California, Perkins crossed paths with big-time Silicon Valley investor Bill Tai, according to a report by BBC. She pitched her idea of a website that aims to simplify graphic design and publishing, but Tai. Brinkwire Summary News.


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