Canva’s Married Co-Founders Built A $40B Business Out Of Frustration With Old Software

In 2008, Melanie Perkins was supporting herself as a part-time graphic design tutor while studying at the University of Western Australia, when inspiration struck. After seeing her students struggle to learn Adobe Photoshop, she envisioned a new graphic design platform that wouldn’t require multiple credit hours of experience to master. Over 10 years later, Perkins and her co-founder/husband Cliff Obrecht are billionaires thanks to Canva, their alternative to overcomplicated design software. With more than 60 million monthly active users, Canva is now a staple platform for everyone from small businesses to social media managers due to its simplicity and effectiveness.

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Since founding Canva in 2013, Perkins and Obrecht have fought to attract investors and expand their platform to the masses. The latest round of funding valued Canva at $40 billion—and with their estimated ownership stake, the couple finds themselves worth nearly $6 billion each. The duo, who were married in early 2021, still serves on the company’s leadership team, with Perkins as CEO and Obrecht as COO. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to shift to remote work, Canva (and other platforms) grew exponentially. As hybrid business models become permanent, so does the platform’s popularity.