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The Inspiring Story of Melanie Perkins: From College Dropout to Canva Billionaire.

Who is Melanie Perkins?

Melanie Perkins, a college dropout with no business or technology experience, had the idea for Canva, an online design platform that competes with market leader Adobe. Despite facing rejections from 100s of investors, Melanie and her boyfriend were able to turn Canva into a successful business, with a reported valuation of over $6 billion. Melanie has become a billionaire as a result of her hard work and determination.

The Inspiring Story of Melanie Perkins: From College Dropout to Canva Billionaire.

Melanie Perkins’ Contacts & Social Media

Melanie Perkins’ Early Life & Biography

Melanie Perkins, the co-founder and CEO of Canva, was born in Perth, Australia. She had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, making and selling handmade cars at the age of 14. She later attended the University of Western Australia, where she taught herself Photoshop and InDesign.

Idea of Creating Canva: How the Idea Popped?

Melanie Perkins, the co-founder and CEO of Canva, came up with the idea for the online design platform while teaching Photoshop and InDesign at her college. Despite having no money or resources, Melanie was able to test her idea by creating a website for designing school yearbooks. She then found a tech co-founder and raised funding from investors to scale up her idea and expand Canva globally.

ALSO READ: The Inspiring Story of Jay Shetty

While teaching Photoshop & InDesign to her classmates, Melanie noticed that Photoshop was not an easy program to learn and use. She then had the idea for Canva – an easy-to-use platform for creating professional-looking designs without needing specialized software.

This was the beginning of Canva, which has since become a successful business with a reported valuation of over $6 billion.

After coming up with the idea for Canva, Melanie knew that she needed to implement it as quickly as possible to prevent others from copying her idea. However, she also knew that she could not create a world-changing product or software overnight.

Instead, Melanie decided to focus on a specific niche market – designing school yearbooks. She created a website called Fusion Books, where users could design their own yearbooks and order them for a fee. This allowed her to test her idea and gather feedback from customers.

The success of Fusion Books validated Melanie’s idea and gave her confidence to expand Canva globally. She continued to focus on providing a valuable service to her customers and scaling up her business based on their feedback.

To validate her idea for Canva, Melanie decided to focus on designing school yearbooks. She took out a loan and assembled a team of freelancers to create the Fusion Books website. She and her boyfriend initially worked from her mother’s house, with her boyfriend reaching out to schools to try and secure orders.

Fusion Books was successful, becoming the largest school yearbook publisher in Australia and expanding to New Zealand and France. As orders continued to increase, Melanie realized that she had the potential to build Canva into a global business. However, she knew that she would need funding and a tech co-founder to make this happen.

Canva’s Funding and Co-Founder Problems

Melanie knows that raising funding is very difficult. But she also knows that if she wants to make her idea a huge success, she will need funding and a tech co-founder somehow. She was an introvert, so she faced challenges while networking and didn’t have any connections. However, she was determined to make her vision a reality.

She started by meeting with investors, and didn’t know how to create a pitch deck, so she brought a piece of paper with her to presentations. She faced rejection after rejection, but didn’t let it discourage her and used the feedback from each rejection to improve her presentations.

One day, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Bill Tai was in Perth for a conference, and she presented her idea to him. Bill said that if she came to San Francisco, they could discuss the idea further. This was a big decision for Melanie, as she had never travelled abroad from Perth, but she knew that in order to make Canva a success, she had to take the risk and travel to discuss the idea with Bill.

Melanie Perkins

As promised, Bill discussed the idea with Melanie and gave her contacts for several investors and engineers. Melanie’s trip, which was supposed to last two weeks, ended up being three months long. She faced many more rejections from investors, but she continued to hustle, taking trains at 4am every day to meet with investors for breakfast and discuss her idea.

Despite her best efforts, she still couldn’t find a co-founder or investor. Then she met Cameron Adams, who worked at Google and was very skilled in technology. When she discussed her idea with Cameron, he also thought it was great and had the potential to make an impact. He became Canva’s co-founder.

Bill Tai, a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, used to conduct conferences and enjoy kite surfing. Melanie realized that in order to secure funding for her idea, she needed to get the attention of investors like Bill. With a clear vision and determination to do whatever it takes, she spent three years hustling and facing over 100 investor rejections before finally securing her first funding. With funding and a tech co-founder in place, Melanie is now ready to take on the world with her idea.

Melanie’s idea of Canva was to create a platform that would make it easy for anyone to design professional-looking flyers, posters, and other graphics using a simple drag-and-drop interface. She saw the potential for Canva to be a one-stop shop for all of a person’s design needs, and she was determined to make it happen.

After facing rejection from 100 investors, Melanie finally secured her first round of funding and began the process of scaling up Canva. She and her co-founder Cameron Adams worked tirelessly to develop the platform, creating a vast library of free templates and designs that anyone could use to create beautiful graphics.

As Canva’s popularity grew, so did its revenue. The company’s business model, which offered a mix of free and paid features, proved to be extremely successful. Today, Canva is a $6 billion business and Melanie Perkins is a billionaire.

Despite facing many challenges along the way, Melanie never lost sight of her vision for Canva. Her determination and hard work paid off, and she serves as an inspiration to anyone with a big idea and the drive to make it a reality.

Canva Business Model

Canva’s business model involves offering a range of design templates and tools that users can access for a fee. The company also has a strong focus on sustainability and social responsibility.

Canva follows a freemium business model, offering a free plan as well as a pro plan for $10 per month and an enterprise plan for $30 per month.

The Inspiring Story of Melanie Perkins: From College Dropout to Canva Billionaire.
Image Credits: Ecomsay

The pro and enterprise plans offer more storage, more templates, and access to brand kits, allowing users to collaborate with their team members. Canva is now profitable, with a recent funding round raising $60 million and giving the company a valuation of $6 billion. This also made founder Melanie Perkins a millionaire and her boyfriend a billionaire.

Canva Future Plans

Canva, the popular online graphic design platform, is looking to expand into the video editing and presentation fields. However, this won’t be easy as they face stiff competition from industry giants like Adobe, Figma, and Sketch.

In the presentation field, they will also have to compete with well-established players like Microsoft PowerPoint. In the video editing field, they will have to go up against platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

Despite these challenges, Canva remains popular, with over 30 million users from 190 different countries using the platform every month. On average, 80 designs are created on Canva every second.

Canva Valuation (2022)

Canva was valued at $1 billion in 2018. Since then, it has been increasing. In 2019, it raised money with a valuation of $2.5 billion. Their valuation increased from $2.5 to $6 billion in 2020.

The massive boost it got was in the year 2021, in which Canva’s valuation jumped from $6 billion to $40. By the end of 2021, Canva was valued at $40 billion.

As of July 2022, although it’s not fully confirmed, Canva’s valuation declined by about 36%, reducing its total value from $40 billion to $26 billion.

Books Recommended By Melanie Perkins

The Bottomline

Melanie Perkins is an unlikely success story. Despite lacking a business or technology background, she managed to create a successful startup called Canva, which is now worth billions of dollars.

Perkins is a college dropout who learned most of what she knows on the job. Her success can be attributed to her hard work, perseverance, and determination to see her ideas through to fruition.

It was in her last semester of college that she came up with the idea for Canva, and she has worked tirelessly to turn it into the successful brand it is today.

Lessons from Melanie Perkins’ Life

There are several lessons that can be learned from Melanie’s life and the success of Canva. These include the importance of persistence and determination, the value of networking and building relationships, and the potential rewards of taking risks and pursuing one’s passion.

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