14 years ago, Melanie Perkins, a college student in Australia, was teaching design programs like Photoshop to her students as a side hussle to earn some extra money.
During that time, Perkins and her partner Cliff Obrecht noticed that their students majorly struggled with this software.
Students would often spend entire semesters learning the simplest of tasks like locating feature buttons or exporting a pdf.
After a while, they realized that these software were loaded with complexities. They had to be purchased and downloaded on person's computer.
Working on files locally made it hard for designers to collaborate across different projects too.
There simply had to be a better option.
That's when the idea hit them-
The idea of a simple to use, intuitive, online and collaborative designing tool.
This led the couple to their first venture named Fusion Books, a website that allowed high schools to design their yearbooks online.
And this Fusion Books, was an early version of what is now known as the Canva application.
The company has now raised $200 mn in its recent funding round with a valuation of $40 bn.
During Covid's Zoom boom, Canva helped even the most inexperienced designers to create projects, social media marketing materials & pitch decks for free, helping millions work and earn from home.
Today, the Canva community creates more than 50 designs per second.
This is how a simple yearbook business turned into a millennial & Gen Z favourite, multi-million dollar graphic design application.