Billion to a trillion with Melanie Perkins & Cliff Obrecht, Canva

Date: Thursday 28 Nov 2019
Time: 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Location: Macquarie, 50 Martin Place Sydney

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Don’t miss our last Sydney event of 2019 featuring the incredible Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, co-founders of startup giant, Canva.

Having just been valued at $4.7 billion – triple what it was 18 months ago, the design platform Canva is one of the world’s most successful and fastest-growing startup unicorns. At its helm, is a powerhouse duo that have not only been cemented as Australia’s latest tech billionaires, but are recognised globally as two of the most inspiring startup leaders.

We’re thrilled to be hosting a high-level fireside chat with Mel and Cliff and explore their recent $US85m raise led by Mary Meeker’s VC firm, Bond, as well as local VCs, Blackbird Ventures and Sequoia China; their global ambitions heading into 2020, and their aspirations to be a trillion dollar company.

Since its launch in 2012, Canva has been rapidly scaling and the newly raised capital will be used to drive major changes. Aside from doubling Canva’s headcount to 1,400 over the next coming year, the business aims to roll out Canva for enterprise – catering to the demands of its existing Fortune 500 clients.

It’s a rare opportunity to hear from these two extraordinary founders, and we’re thrilled for our community to gather for this special event to end the year.

Hope to see you there!

Fun fact, Innovation Bay use Canva for almost all of our marketing and events material – thanks Mel & Cliff!

events material – thanks Mel & Cliff!


Learn more about the speakers

Melanie Perkins

Melanie Perkins is CEO and co-founder of Canva, an online design and publishing tool which makes graphic design simple for everyone. Since launching in 2013, Canva has grown to over 15 million users across 190 countries, with more than 1 billion designs created, at 36 designs per second. Today Canva is growing from strength the strength, with over 650 team members across 3 offices in Sydney, Manila and Beijing, working together on a mission to empower everyone to create beautiful designs.

Melanie first came up with the idea for Canva while studying a Bachelor of Arts (Communications/Psychology)/Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Management) 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 hundreds of revisions to the Canva pitch deck, Melanie has now raised more than US$140 million from investors including Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen, Yahoo! CFO Ken Goldman, and funds such as Felicis Ventures and Blackbird Ventures. Today, Canva is valued at US$2.5 billion, making Canva the second Australian startup to achieve Unicorn status.

In her spare time, Melanie loves to travel and has backpacked around the world.

Cliff Obrecht

Cliff Obrecht is a co-founder and chief operating officer of Canva, an online design and publishing tool which makes graphic design simple for everyone. Since launching in 2013, Canva has grown to over 15 million monthly active users across 190 countries, with more than 1 billion designs created, at 36 designs per second. Today Canva is growing from strength the strength, with over 650 team members working together on a mission to empower everyone to create beautiful designs.

Cliff got his start in business in 2007, after graduating from a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education at the University of Western Australia. Together with co-founder Melanie Perkins, he founded Fusion Books, an online design tool for school yearbooks. Over five years, the pair grew Fusion Books into the largest yearbook company in Australia, and successfully expanded to France and New Zealand.

However, Cliff and Melanie always knew there was much more potential for their design tool, so set out to raise investment. After hundreds of revisions to the Canva pitch deck, Cliff has now raised more than US$140 million from investors including Felicis Ventures and Blackbird.

In his spare time, Cliff enjoys kitesurfing and travelling.

Secure your tickets now for Billion to a trillion with Melanie Perkins & Cliff Obrecht, Canva on Thursday 28 Nov 2019