Filipina Billionaire Behind Canva Pledges To Donate Most Of Her Wealth

Melanie Perkins | IMG SOURCE:

SYDNEY, Australia — When Filipino-Australian Melanie Perkins started Canva from her mother’s living room in 2012, her goal was to allow anyone to be a decent graphic designer, whether for greeting cards, ads, or videos.

The company was already successful before the pandemic. But features it introduced during the worldwide switch to working from home—such as collaboration tools that let people on different continents contribute to the same design— supercharged its growth.

Currently, Perkins is worth $5.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This makes her the third richest woman in Australia, making her the youngest billionaire in the country at the age of 32 years old.

After building this fortune, Perkins is now busy trying to give it away. With her husband and co-founder, Cliff Obrecht, Perkins has pledged to donate almost all her wealth.

The couple recently announced their first pilot project, a $10 million program of direct cash transfers to people in southern Africa. Perkins promises that more will follow—an example, and perhaps a challenge, to other internet billionaires from Sydney to San Francisco.

She explained in her blogpost that it had always been her intention to “use the vast majority of that wealth to do good in the world.”

“It has never felt like our money, we’ve always felt that we’re purely custodians of it,” Perkins wrote. “As we’ve previously shared, it’s long been our intention to give the wealth away, and we’ve been thinking long and hard about the best way to start that journey.”

melanie perkins

Source: Bloomberg News

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