Melanie Perkins is an Australian technology entrepreneur. She is known as the CEO and co-founder of Canva, an online design and publishing tool which makes graphic design simple for everyone.
Melanie is one of the youngest female CEO to be leading a tech startup valued at over a billion dollars. Melanie has raised more than $166 million from investors including Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen, Yahoo! CFO Ken Goldman, and funds such as Bond, General Catalyst, Felicis Ventures and Blackbird.
Melanie was born in Perth, Australia. She attended Sacred Heart College, and started her first venture when she was 14, creating hand-made scarves that she sold at shops and markets throughout Perth.
Melanie has studied Communications, Psychology, and Commerce at the University of Western Australia when she decided to drop out to build Fusion Books, her first company, a design tool for school yearbooks, to test out the idea for Canva.
While in university at the age of 19, Melanie had also been teaching design programs to fellow students. After seeing students struggle, she created Fusion Books, which took the idea of empowering students to design their own school yearbooks by using a simple drag-and-drop tool equipped with a library of design templates that could be populated with photos, illustrations, and fonts. 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 with Fusion Books could be applied more broadly, she set out to build Canva with co-founders Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams.
As CEO, Melanie is leading a team over 650 across three offices in Sydney, Manila, and Beijing.