Canva has just been valued at $4.7 billion, triple what it was 18 months ago and cementing founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht status as tech billionaires

Canva’s new valuation has given Melanie Perkins plenty to smile about.
  • Design platform Canva has just been valued at $US3.2 billion ($4.7 billion), after its latest funding round saw high-profile investors throw another $125 million into the Australian start-up.
  • With the latest analysis, Canva has effectively tripled its value in around 18 months, having only reached unicorn status early last year.
  • The new valuation is thought to push the net worth of its co-founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht to around $1.35 billion, according to the AFR.

Canva’s valuation has been blown sky-high for the second time this year, after staging another funding round.

Private investors tipped another $125 million into the Australian start-up, pushing its valuation to an astounding $US3.2 billion ($4.7 billion) — more than triple where it sat at the beginning of last year.

Since then, Mary Meeker — one of Silicon Valley’s best-known venture capitalists — chose the tech company as the first investment of her new fund Bond Capital in a May funding round, that saw Canva achieve a $2.5 billion valuation. That seemed to set off waves of excitement among investors — all despite Canva only making a $1.8 million profit in 2017.

Investors are becoming more dubious of hyped-up unicorns

It comes as the market takes an ever more sceptical look at company valuations, and particularly of unicorns — start-ups that reach $US1 billion status. Take WeWork’s recent and well-documented fall from grace. On paper, its $US47 billion value plummeted to less than a quarter of that in the space of a few short weeks as investors and the media scrutinised its real value. Now some predict it could be out of cash as soon as next year.

Likewise, a series of high-profile public flops, from Uber to Peloton, have seen investors asking the same thing. Closer to home and even more recently, this week Australian financial company Latitude was three days from the largest public float on the ASX this year. Instead, it pulled the plug as large investors went cold, costing execs and brokers millions of dollars.

Canva’s new valuation has made its founder billionaires — on paper at least

The latest Canva capital raise, which involved Australian venture capitalist firm Blackbird, however, has helped to cement the status of its co-founder Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht as tech billionaires, on paper at least.

The AFR, which is set to release its Young Rich List next week, values the two at $1.35 billion. That’s a staggering increase from last year’s Rich List, which put them at $177 million.

The updated and more accurate picture of Perkins and Obrecht’s net worth comes after it was revealed that along with fellow co-founder Cameron Adams, they retain more than 50% equity in the company.

With 600 employees, and being on track to reach 1,000 by next year, Canva is one of the fast-growing companies in the country. It was ranked earlier this year as the second biggest recruiter among Australia start-ups and continues to be classed as the best place to work nationwide.

Whatever it’s doing, it’s clearly working. At least in the eyes of its most recent investors.

READ MORE: This is Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins’ 5 biggest pieces of advice for Aussie entrepreneurs

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