Jul 28,2018
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Epic Startup Success: The Canva Story with Melanie Perkins

30 year old, Melanie Perkins has astonished the world by founding one of the most popular as well as successful infographic designing company, Canva. The triumph of the company lies in its user friendly interface and innovative designs and tools. The immensely successful journey of Perkins and her co-founders is engaging and is certain to inspire many!

The Beginning

In 2007, a young student of University of Western Australia partnered with her friend to develop Fusion Books.  They designed yearbooks for their university and slowly expanded their operations to achieve the stature of being the largest in the business. Melanie and Cliff, the two co-founders soon realized that the technology used by them might have applications in other genres as well. So they searched for an expert to handle the technological department and finally came across Cameron Adams. Their journey started since then to acquire a team of artists, designers, developers, advisors, and investors. This ensemble has resulted in the billion dollar company, Canva.

The Founders

Canva is founded by Melanie Perkins along with her friend Cliff Obrecht. Later, Cameron Adams joined their venture as Chief Product Officer. Melanie is perhaps the youngest female entrepreneur to lead a company worthy of $1 billion. The journey which started off as designers of yearbooks, shaped up to become Canva in 2014. In her college days, Melanie happened to assist her friends with the complex graphic designing tool, PhotoShop, and soon recognized that the users are in dire need of a platform which is easy to handle. Thus she took up the mission of using innovative technologies to develop Canva to solve the issues that she could clearly see!

The Vision

The vision of Melanie Perkins was to solve a major problem faced by a lot of people. She witnessed the struggle of the users to even learn the basic tools provided by the applications. Her primary focus was to make Canva simple and easy for the people to use while they are designing. The co-founders of Canva also aimed at offering numerous templates, icons, designs, etc. which could be used for designing.

The Mission

The mission of Canva is to create a diverse workplace environment. The members of the team have come from various domains. Some left their own start-ups, some their jobs and few even let go of their world tours. The inclusive workforce of Canva aims at “being a force for good”. They not only recruit diversified people, their goal is also to develop products that could be used in diversified domains. Canva believes that each team member brings in unique ideas from their cultural background which permits the company to create their special ways of operating.  

Products Offered

Canva enables you to create exceptional designs and documents by using professional layouts offered by the application. The users can design presentations for professional use with the help of the graphical templates. Canva has millions of images to choose from, and also have amazing filter options for you to edit your pictures. It also has numerous icons, shapes, font styles and colours that you can put to use to make your designs captivating. What more? Canva has tutorial video which allows you to learn the basics of designing in just 23 seconds. The founders believe that everyone can design, so boost your confidence and create stunning designs using this simple tool.

Evaluation

Canva has penetrated the market by creating a tool that is tailor made for the non-professional graphic designers. In its lifespan of 20 months, Canva managed to acquire 2.3 million users and the count is increasing as you are reading this. This has enabled the company to gain an additional investment of $6 million from the VCs of Matrix Partners, Shasta Ventures, AirTree Ventures, and Blackbird Ventures. The current valuation of Canva is $345 million and it claims to not even touch the last round of funds.

Reviews of Users

Canva is used and loved by millions of users across the globe. The common thumbs up given by the users pertain to the user friendly interface of Canva. They love the multiple choices offered to them for creating images that has gained them hundreds of likes on social networks. The users also state that the in-built templates which are tailor made for social media platforms have proved to be really useful.  In terms of dislikes, Canva do not possess the array of functions offered by PhotoShop, although it is immensely beneficial for the small businesses.  The tools also has some technical issues such as the save button not working and pieces of work going missing after reloading.

New Plans

Melanie realizes that in the modern world, everyone now needs to communicate visually. Recently, Canva raised $20 million to fund its development aimed at increasing its online accessibility. The investors of the company include Las Rasmussen (founder of Google Maps), and Bill Tai (Charles River Ventures). The founders wish to reinvent productivity tools to align Canva to the preferences of the urban crowd. The company is undergoing the transition from being a small start-up to become one of the giants in the graphic designing sector. Canva believes that there is no end of growth and they require to continuously learn to ensure progress in the future.

Canva believes in empowering the employees to create innovative designs, as well as polish their skills and talents. The founders believe in creating a workplace which is fun so that the team is inspired to put in their effort for the company. It is evident that the phenomenal vision along with the exceptional team will take Canva to places!


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