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Melanie Perkins promises to give fortune away as Canva hits US$40 billion mark

Melanie Perkins’ Canva has just been valued at a staggering US$40 billion ($54.7 billion), making it the most valuable private software company ever.

It’s a huge achievement for the Australian born startup, co founded by Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, and a massive win for the local tech and startup community – especially for female entrepreneurs locally here, who can dare to dream just as big as Perkins once did in taking her idea so successfully to the world.

But much more inspiring now is what Perkins and Obrecht have promised to do next: commit the vast majority of their remaining equity in Canva (they still have 30 per cent) to philanthropic causes across the world, through the Canva Foundation.

It’s a promise that could make them among the biggest philanthropists in Australia, and potentially later on the world.

Canva’s latest valuation comes following a $200 million funding round by new and existing strategic investors, and as the platform announces it now has more than 60 million active monthly users globally. The company has been doubling its revenue year on year and looks set to exceed $1 billion in annualised revenue by the end of this year.

It makes Perkins and Obrecht (who married earlier this year) worth a combined total of AUD$16.4 billion, ahead of Clive Palmer, Kerry Stokes and James Packer according to The Australian today. (Their third co founder Cameron Adams also retains a massive stake, worth $4.4 billion)

But being part of the “billionaire club” won’t necessarily sit easily for Perkins and Obrecht.

Perkins writes about their discomfort about people discussing their wealth, as they’ve always felt like “custodians”.

“It has felt strange when people refer to us as “billionaires” as it has never felt like our money, we’ve always felt that we’re purely custodians

. . .

This story was published at Business and provided for your interest.


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