When asked about their plans if they became rich, most people would likely have different answers, but for this remarkable couple, giving money away is included in their list.
Meet Australia’s youngest billionaire and Canva CEO Melanie Perkins and her fiancé, Cliff Obrecht, who is also the co-founder of the company.
Their journey started with just an idea, but with passion and dedication, they have made a significant impact in the digital world, and now, they’re conquering the world of design platforms.
Melanie always had a goal to take an entire graphic design ecosystem and put it into one page that is available to the world. She thought of a future where graphic designing went online as a fully user-friendly platform.
The seeds of Canva were sewn in her mind. In 2006, while they were still studying at a university in Perth, Melanie spent her free time teaching design programs to other students, but she thought the process was too complex for some to understand.
The couple started creating a design tool geared towards helping students create their own yearbook design. From there, they could collaborate and make their profiles and designs for the yearbook, which the couple would then print and deliver to the students.
Their first office was Melanie’s mother’s living room. The business has been a booming success ever since, and Canva was born in 2014. It only grew during lockdowns, which rocketed their stocks and doubled their wealth within months. Recently, the company expanded operations to Manila and Beijing, with a $6 billion valuation.
Given their hard work and the years they invested in the platform, the couple has all the rights to a lavish and luxurious life. Despite this, Obrecht kept his proposal to his longtime girlfriend and business partner as humble as he could.
He proposed to Perkins with a $30 ring while hiking along a remote, dusty trail in Turkey. He shared that even with all that money, they still live a relatively simple life.
Obrecht also mentioned during an interview that they are committed to giving away money to make the world a better place, and it’s their obligation to use their earnings as a force for good. One of the foundations they are planning to donate to is focused on the global health system.
He further explained that they are planning to donate billions of their wealth to charities to create a more positive impact on communities worldwide. Canva currently has over 4 million users in over 190 countries.