A Founder starts a company with an inspired vision and an energetic team with a top notch plan. Things are all high energy and everyday is a vibrant one. Time passes and funds are needed, they go to an investor, make a pitch. Sadly that doesn’t go well, they get rejected! What next? Get used to rejection and do not lose track of the final goal and pay attention to the journey. This is what Melanie Perkins, Co-Founder and CEO of Canva tells us. The Quill caught up with her when she was here in India.
Melanie Perkins is CEO and co-founder of Canva, an online platform which makes graphic design simple for everyone. Since launching two years ago, Canva has grown to 4 million users who have created more than 30 million designs. It is now used daily by social media marketers, bloggers and small business owners in 179 countries around the world.
Melanie first came up with the idea for Canva while studying at the University of Western Australia. At the time, she was also teaching design programs to fellow students. After seeing students struggle, she created her first company Fusion Books, which took the idea of a simple design tool, and applied it to the niche market of school yearbooks. Over five years, Fusion Books grew into the largest yearbook company in Australia, and expanded into France and New Zealand.
Having known all along that the technology Melanie had developed could be applied more broadly, she set out to raise funding for Canva. After more than a year, and hundreds of revisions to the Canva pitch deck, Melanie has now raised more than $12.6 million from investors including Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen, Yahoo! CFO Ken Goldman, and funds such as 500 Startups, Matrix Partners and Shasta Ventures.
In her spare time, Melanie loves to travel and has backpacked around the world. Melanie has been featured in publications such as Mashable, Forbes, Techcrunch and the New York Times.
Here is the interview that she gave The Quill (with our video partners BizDoors)
Canva, recently raised a $US15 million Series A funding and is now valued at $US165 million. Canva has been consistently launching new products and have plans to launch India specific products. Canva has aggressive plans for India and Melanie touched upon the following in the interview
Canva’s plans for investment in India
Canva’s present and potential users in India
Designs created from and for India
India has always been a key market for Canva and is amongst its top 5 largest markets globally. The team believes that India makes for an ideal platform to further their mission of making design easy and accessible since Indians are known to have a strong design aesthetic, and the country has seen quick adoption of technology and applications.
By introducing Canva in India, the team hopes to become more deeply entrenched in local conversations around design simplicity and the role of the internet in propelling it. Canva is aiming to engage with the rapidly growing social media marketing and startup communities in the country and to show them how a creative tool like Canva adds value to their growth and creativity.
Canva will be launching Experts partnerships in India — we already have experts across the US, Europe, Australia and South East America, so very excited to expand this program into India for the first time.
Canva Experts are local firms they work closely with that represent Canva at events, run training and work with local communities to get the most out of Canva
Canva will be investing in local marketing, business development and brand partnerships in India
Launch of a whole new collection of Indian-specific content in our library. For example, we now have templates for cards and social media posts to celebrate festivals such as Durga Pooja, Dussehra and Diwali
The chat was a mix of insights and fun. Melanie has very noticeable persistent focus on where she wants to be and how to get there! A youngster who has been running a company for most of her adult life. Her clear articulation and lateral thoughts on handling and getting used to rejection are intriguing. We wish this young entrepreneur and her creative team all the very best
I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.