Canva couple founders worth $5.9 billion each after latest funding

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Canva cofounder Cliff Obrecht and his wife Melanie Perkins. Source: Canva

A funding round last week has valued Australian graphic design company, Canva, at $40 billion.

That gave Melanie Perkins, 34, and her husband and co-founder Cliff Obrecht, 35, a fortune of $5.9 billion each, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The latest funding round makes the Sydney-based firm the fifth-largest startup in the world, according to data from research firm CB Insights.

The funding has also made Perkins the richest self-made female billionaire under the age of 40.

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Among Canva’s investors are Franklin Templeton and Sequoia Capital Global Equities.

Perkins and Obrecht, who married earlier this year, told Bloomberg in an interview this week that they aren’t slowing down.

“We want to build one of the world’s most valuable companies,” said Perkins, who is chief executive officer. “We’re moving in the right direction, but we’re not there yet.’’

Perkins said Canva all began with millennial angst at user-unfriendly software.

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While teaching design programmes part-time in 2008 when she was at university in Perth, Australia, she said she grew frustrated with the clunky desktop-based tools she was helping her students understand.

“I wanted to make design software simple, online and collaborative,” she said.

Today, Canva users have created more than 7 billion designs, but Perkins she wanted it to become ubiquitous, and this includes ultimately replacing PDF resumes with responsive web-based tools.

Perkins and Obrecht own at least 30% of the company,  she disclosed in a Medium post that accompanied news of the company’s valuation.

A former Google employee, Cameron Adams, is also a co-founder, though the size of his stake hasn’t been disclosed.