Canva’s Melanie Perkins named one of the world’s top founders of the decade

Canva founder and chief Melanie Perkins

Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins. Source: supplied.

Canva co-founder and Aussie tech icon Melanie Perkins has been named in the Forbestop under 30 of the decade‘ tech founders list, landing in the top 10 alongside the likes of Mark Zuckerburg, Spotify founder Daniel Ek and Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.

Perkins was initially in the Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 ‘class of 2016’, when she was 28 years old. Back then Canva had raised a total of $US27 million ($39.4 million) at a valuation of $US165 million ($240.5 million).

Now, of course, the Aussie unicorn is even more impressive. In 2019 alone it raised $225 million across two funding rounds, and now boasts a valuation of $4.7 billion.

Founded in 2012 by Perkins and co-founders Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams in a bid to cure ‘death-by-PowerPoint’, Canva tapped into a market need for cheap and simple design tools.

Since then, the company’s rapid growth and quickly ramping valuation has made it something of a poster child for the Australian startup ecosystem.

At the same time, Canva’s focus on culture and employee wellbeing (and free lunch) has made it one of the most desirable employers to work for in the country.

The Forbes list is, rather predictably, topped by Mark Zuckerburg, who was in the ‘class of 2011’ when he was 27 years old.

At that time, Facebook was worth about $US80 billion ($117 billion). Now, it’s worth some $595 billion ($868 billion), and Zuck himself is worth $77 billion ($112 billion).

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz also appears on the list of the decade in second place, and Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger share the third position.

Perkins is one of two women to make the top ten. The Aussie takes the ninth spot, and is followed by Whitney Wolfe Herd, co-founder of Tinder and founder of women-initiated dating app Bumble, which is valued at approximately $US3 billion ($4.4 billion).

Of the best of the decade (there are 14 listed), Perkins is one of seven women. However, several positions are shared between two founders, so women-led companies take five of the 14 positions.

And, not only is Perkins the only Aussie to make the list, Canva is also one of only two startups featured that is not based in the US. Spotify, headed up by Daniel Ek, who is in the fourth slot on the list, is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

NOW READ: The humanness revolution: Inside Canva’s iconic Sydney HQ

NOW READ: A message for those who feel they’re on the outside, from Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins


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