Fil-Aussie CEO and co-founder of Canva plans to donate wealth away

·Contributor
·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Melanie Perkins, Co-founder & CEO, Canva, on Centre Stage during the opening day of Web Summit 2019 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. (Source: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Melanie Perkins, Co-founder & CEO, Canva, on Centre Stage during the opening day of Web Summit 2019 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. (Source: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images)

Melanie Perkins, who is part Filipino through her paternal grandmother, founded a multibillion-dollar company from her Perth living room with her husband Cliff Olbrecht over a decade ago, and now the couple plan to donate their wealth away.

Their company Canva, an Australian software behemoth with a market value of AU$54 ($40) billion, is now worth more than Aussie telco Telstra.

Canva is a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. The app includes templates for users to use. The platform is free to use and offers paid subscriptions like Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise for additional functionality.

Despite their massive wealth, the young successful co-founders who are now in their thirties have committed to donate roughly 30% of their money, with the 'vast majority' of their interests in the firm going to their Canva Foundation charity.

"If the whole thing was about building wealth that would be the most uninspiring thing I could possibly imagine," Perkins told the American finance website Forbes.

Even if she earned the money through hard work, Australia's wealthiest woman under 40 feels uncomfortable with the concept of being ultra-rich.

"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 of it," she wrote in a blog post.

The husband-wife team is now worth $12 billion after Canva's most recent funding round. 

Perkins and her husband ranked second on the Australian Financial Review's (AFR) Young Rich List last year, with an estimated $3.4 billion.

The couple is poised to top the AFR list in late 2021, as the pandemic continues to inflate the worth of digital firms like hers.

Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.

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