What would you do if you suddenly became a billionaire?
It’s a question that will elicit different answers, but I bet none of them would include “give all my money away.” However, that’s exactly what this extraordinary couple plans to do—and they’re real-life billionaires.
I’m referring to none other than Australia’s youngest billionaire and Canva CEO Melanie Perkins and her fiancé and co-founder of the company, Cliff Obrecht.
Perkins has amassed a personal fortune of $2.5 billion through Canva, making her Australia’s third-richest woman. The platform allows businesses and individuals to create their own social media graphics, invitations, posters, and more.
The pandemic brought an increase in remote workers and to Canva’s stock—a phenomenon that doubled her wealth within months.
With all the hard work they’ve put in over the years to reach this level of abundance, this power duo certainly has every right to live a life of luxury.
The 32-year-old digital design mogul often shares photos of her lavish trips abroad—often with Obrecht—on her social media. The pair has traveled to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Cappadocia in central Turkey, and to Richard Branson’s privately-owned Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.
Canva is growing bigger every year since its launching in 2014. Recently, the company expanded its operations to Manila and Beijing, reaching a $6 billion valuation.
Obrecht proposed to Perkins with a $30 ring during their trip to Turkey. He says that they live a relatively simple life despite the considerable fortune that their graphic design firm has given them.
He also said that they plan to donate their billions for the “greater good” instead of spending it on themselves.
“Mel and I are committed to giving away all our money to make the world a better place. I think with running such a large company with such a significant valuation now, it’s an obligation on us to use that to be a force for good and make the world a better place, rather than just hoard s**t,” he told The Australian.
They plan to spend their money on causes like the reformation of the global health system.
“We live pretty modestly and we don’t really see the need to just accrue wealth. The priority for the company is education, because we really feel educating underprivileged people gives them the opportunity to break the cycle,” Obrecht said.
Perkins also hopes that through her position of power in the business world, she can bring more equality to disadvantaged communities.
In an interview with Daily Mail, Perkins shared that she came up with the idea of starting her own graphics design business from her mother’s couch. That happened in 2005 while she was studying a first-year digital media subject at university.
She fell in love with it and developed extraordinary skills. Perkins got so good that she was invited to teach graphic design workshops to students in other faculties.
In 2007, she thought of creating easy-to-use graphic design software that will allow schools and students to make their own yearbooks. Although she had zero business and marketing background, this inexperience gave her the courage to start a company from scratch.
“My boyfriend became my co-founder and we started in my mum’s living room,” she recalled. “Our naivety in some ways helped us … If I knew at the time all the things I didn’t know it would have been intimidating.”
And as they say, the rest is history. Now, Canva has 4 million users in over 190 countries.
To learn more about Melanie Perkins, watch the video below:
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