Category Archives: WOMEN

ANOTHER AUSSIE UNICORN: Design newbie Canva now valued at above $US1 billion in its latest capital raising

 

Melanie Perkins, co-founder of Canva. Photo: Supplied.

Online design and publishing platform Canva has become the first Australian start-up since Atlassian to join the elite ranks of Silicon Valley unicorns with a valuation in excess of $US1 billion ($1.28 billion).

The valuation is based on a $US40 million series A funding round. It is the sixth funding round since the company was founded 4½ years ago by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams.

The latest funding won the support of one of Silicon Valley’s top five venture capitalists, Sequoia Capital, which was an early investor in Apple, Google, WhatsApp, Cisco, Oracle, Yahoo and LinkedIn.

Canva chief executive Ms Perkins said the money raised from existing and new shareholders would be used to expand the company’s range of online design and publishing products.

“We are in 190 countries, in 100 languages and we have done about 1 per cent of what is possible,” she told The Australian Financial Review in an interview at the company’s Sydney head office in inner-city Surry Hills.

“I know we have a $US1 billion valuation but we like to say we are a baby unicorn,” Ms Perkins said. “There is a lot more to do before we are grown up.”

When asked about her ambition for Canva, Ms Perkins did not hesitate before saying: “I think we can make Canva the most valuable tech company in the world.”

To achieve that ambition Canva will have to expand its market value about 900 times to beat the $US890 billion valuation of Apple, the world’s largest company.

That goal sounds outrageous considering Canva lost $3.3 million in the year to June 2017.

But Rick Baker, a partner of Canva shareholder Blackbird Ventures, said Canva is possibly one of the fastest-growing software companies of all time measured in terms of percentage growth in recurring revenue.

The company earns revenue from a subscription model.

“Canva is making huge strides in democratising design for everyone,” he said. “Its product growth and adoption across many demographics is truly exceptional.”

Mr Baker first met Ms Perkins and Mr Obrecht in 2010 before they had launched Canva.

“I convinced them to delay their first seed funding round until after Blackbird Ventures was established,” he said.

“Our first investment as a venture capital firm was the $250,000 we invested in Canva.”

Breaking silos

Lots of smart money has supported the Canva business, including Australian entrepreneurs Paul Bassat from SEEK and Daniel Petre from AirTree Ventures.

The company has attracted heaps of attention in Silicon Valley USA.

Early investors were Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen, legendary venture capitalist Bill Tai, former Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman and Hollywood actors Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson.

A number of Silicon Valley venture capital firms apart from Sequoia have backed Canva including Felicis Ventures, Vayner Capital, Matrix Partners and Shasta Ventures.

Ms Perkins admitted that Canva’s two major competitors were design software companies Adobe and Microsoft.

But she said Canva was built on breaking down the silos and complexity that are part and parcel of using the products sold by Adobe and Microsoft.

“The world is rapidly becoming more visual, yet traditional design tools in the market are too complicated to use, or so costly that they become inaccessible,” Ms Perkins said.

“Canva is designed to enable individual and teams to collaborate seamlessly, and our growing footprint is evidence of the widespread need that we are addressing.

“This extra financing will bring us that much closer to giving everyone the ability to thrive in an increasingly visual environment.”

Canva’s growth rates in terms of customer usage of its platform have been staggering.

After eight months of existence about 350,000 designs were being created each month. After 20 months of existence about 3 million designs were created each month.

Today, after 52 months in operation, Canva’s platform is handling about 34 million designs a month.

The idea for Canva had its roots in the lounge room of Ms Perkins’s family home in the northern Perth suburb of Duncraig. She and Mr Obrecht started a printing company called Fusion Books, which printed school yearbooks.

Cameron Adams, a former Google engineer, joined the company as a co-founder before its first round of seed funding in 2013.

Since then the company has raised $US81 million.

Atlassian became a unicorn well before it listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange with a valuation of $US6 billion in 2015. Its market valuation is now $US11.9 billion.

This post appeared at the AFR.com. See the original here.

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Henry Sapiecha

How this woman woke up with $25m in her bank

 

Clare Wainwright found $25 million accidentally transferred into her bank account

SYDNEY woman Clare Wainwright woke up to find herself $24.5 million richer and her mortgage paid off.

The lawyer first discovered the millions in her account on October 25.

Clare Wainwright found $25 million accidentally transferred into her bank account. Picture: Facebook

In September, NAB sent a letter confirming a direct debit for loan repayments had been set up.

The letter said Ms Wainwright’s monthly repayments would be $25,102,107 – not $2500 – with the next repayment due on October 25.

Her bank NAB first requested $25.1 million from her bank, St George Bank, who then transferred the substantial figure, heavily overdrawing Ms Wainwright’s account.

Despite both banks being contacted about the error, the money is still in Ms Wainwright’s account.

“When NAB accidentally pays out your entire mortgage, and gives you an extra $24.5mil to redraw … do I skip the country??” she jokingly wrote on Facebook.

Ms Wainwright told Fairfax Media that she had not been tempted to spend the millions.

“I’m a lawyer, which is why I haven’t spent the money,” she said. “Mostly because I figured it wouldn’t play out that well trying to play dumb on that.”

Clare Wainwright said she has resisted spending the $25 million.

“I saw it and I thought ‘Oh my gosh, it’s 25 mil’ and I laughed,” she said. “I showed my broker and he said ‘Oh god, I’ll get them to fix it’.”

NAB told her broker that they would be in touch within three business days.

“They obviously don’t understand I could just skip the country,” she said.

Asked how she would spend $25 million, Ms Wainwright said: “Well, if I was allowed to use it, I’d pay off my mortgage and buy another place. Or an island.”

www.profitcentre.net

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Henry Sapiecha

Australian Wins Mega-Millions $1.3M Prize in Lotto-Land Draw

It was officially American Independence Day, but for one Australian, the fourth of July will be forever celebrated as the day she declared financial independence!

The 56-year-old Melbournian collected a whopping $1,315,650.04 for successfully matching five from five main numbers betting on the monster American MegaMillions Lottery.

The Victorian’s win becomes the single biggest prize claimed by a Lottoland member since the company launched in Australia last year.

Learn more about Lottoland’s lucky winner below plus how you can grab your slice of the jaw-dropping MegaMillions Jackpot.

How a Melbourne Mum Won Mega-Large on MegaMillions

“I’m numb. It’s happening? It’s happening to me?”

This was the first reaction of our lucky winner after being informed she had just won a jaw-dropping $1.31 million thanks to her bet on the Mega Millions lottery.

The grandmother to eleven signed up to Lottoland in January of this year and has been betting across the full range of Australian and International lotteries since. While she had collected a number of smaller wins, nothing could have prepared her for the life-changing sum that was about to come her way.

The lucky Lottoland member’s MegaMillions bet successfully matched 5 from 5 main numbers – 16, 39, 47, 53, 71. Her “completely random” set of numbers were enough to earn her the massive Division 2 prize – a staggering $1,315,650.04.

“I received a phone call from Lottoland and I was ecstatic,” said the new millionaire.

She immediately informed her husband of the exciting news and started making plans for her newfound freedom.

“I’m going to visit my family in Romania – I haven’t been there in 20 years – and maybe I’ll buy a house,” she added.

A big congratulations to our winner from everyone at Lottoland!

Winner Uses Subscription Feature to Win

Our Melbourne mum noted she has the Lottoland Subscription feature to thank for her win.

Subscription allows you the opportunity to register your chosen numbers for a set number of draws on your chosen lottery. For example, if you wanted to bet with the same numbers on MegaMillions for 6 weeks, you can set this up with a Subscription and Lottoland will take care of the rest for you.

Subscription allows you to rest easy knowing that you will never miss a bet on your favourite draw, just like our lucky Victorian above! You can amend your subscription as you go and opt out at any time. Find out more about subscriptions.

Download the App and Get Winning

Thanks to Lottoland, Australians now have the opportunity to win the gigantic jackpots that are offered in overseas lotteries. Why win a million when you can win a billion, right?

Whether it’s US Power, EuroMillions or MegaMillions, you now have the opportunity to win a jaw-dropping amount of cash.

The Lottoland App allows you to bet on local and overseas lotteries and is available for both iPhone and Android smartphones. Get it from the App store today, and start winning millions on your mobile tomorrow!

How Can I Win MegaMillions?

Despite the $1.3m MegaMillions win being more than what Australians can collect winning the jackpot on the local Monday/Wednesday lotto, it was actually only the Division 2 prize! The MegaMillions Division 1 Jackpot wasn’t won and climbs to a mind-boggling US $186 million* (approx. $245 million*) this Saturday.

To win the MegaMillions Jackpot, you need to pick 5 numbers from a range of 1-75 and one MegaBall from a range of 1-15. Match all five main numbers and the MegaBall and you will be rolling in a ridiculous amount of cash!

Our lucky Melbournian was actually just one ball away from winning the MegaBall Jackpot and being instantly catapulted into an Australian rich list. Her chosen MegaBall was the number 2, but had she selected the number 15, the MegaMillions jackpot was hers! Still, who can argue with a $1,315,650.04

GO HERE TO LOTTOLAND DIRECT <<<<<<<<

Henry Sapiecha

Samantha Wills- Australian jewellery designer took over 10 years to become an overnight success

Australian Jewellery designer Samantha Wills went from a Byron Bay NSW flea  market stall to becoming an international exporter. Here is her story

Australia’s global jewellery tycoon

Samantha Wills grew up in small town NSW and now controls a global empire of jewellery from New York.

Think of women who have risen to the top of Australian entrepreneurship and the list gets thin fast.

Ever rarer is a woman who has succeeded with her own name as the brand, who has become a celebrity herself in the process.

Samantha Wills, who grew up in Port Macquarie and now lives in New York, is a tycoon of her time.

Samantha Wills' jewellery is now stocked in 80 countries image www.money-au.com

Samantha Wills’ jewellery is now stocked in 80 countries. Photo: James Alcock

Personable, open and yet at also guarded and private, the 34-year-old businesswoman appears to effortlessly blend an air of celebrity with social media fanaticism and a unique product.
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But she says success has been a hard slog and she wants the many young women who worship her to know just how difficult it’s been.

“I think millennials are a generation of ‘slashies’. They’re a DJ/entrepreneur/fashion designer. With all those slashes between your job titles, you lose depth and integrity,” she says.

“Narrow down what you want to be good at, then focus on that. It might not work for the first six months or the first 18 months but it took me 12 years to become an overnight success.”

While she doesn’t go into gruesome detail, Wills was clear that growing a business took a hit on her personal life.

“I think the downside of having success was that when my friends were going off and having a good time, my business was in its infancy so I couldn’t have those normal early 20s experiences.”

samantha wills relaxes on beach image www.money-au.com

Early days

Wills started her company at the of age 21 after moving to Sydney.

“I was working in retail during the day and making jewellery at night to sell at the market. A friend offered me a spot at Australian Fashion Week which would cost $500. I though I would possibly make enough to cover the cost of the stall, but I ended up writing $18,000 of orders that day. I quit my job the next day.”

Now Wills is turning over $10 million annually and is stocked in eighty countries around the world. She has offices in Japan, Korea, Europe, the US and Australia.

Wills credits much of her success to her business partner Geoff Bainbridge who was able to commercialise back-end production and helped launch her to into foreign markets.’

samantha wills in new york fashion week image www.money-au.com

 

[2012] Presenting our bespoke couture pieces, in New York City, for Fashion Week 2012. – SWx #BelieveBig – LAUNCHING JUNE 12th, 2016

Celebrity sights

“Naively, when I first went to the US in 2010, I thought I was going over with a successful Australian brand and that would be enough. You think you can replicate that over there and it’s not the case,” says Wills.

“You need a much more refined offer. You need to know who your business competitors are and your media competitors. We ended up doing 18 months of research about the US before we moved our first order.”

The orders started coming thick and fast once actress Eva Mendes was snapped on a red carpet wearing Wills’ Bohemian Bardot ring. Wills’ jewellery has also been worn by Katy Perry, Miranda Kerr, Lady Gaga, Kate Bosworth, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Lopez.

“That ring Eva wore continues to be our best seller and we’ve made it now in 150 colours. It kind of became our signature piece.”

Samantha Wills trys out earrings image www.money-au.com

Sometimes (and only sometimes…) the @samanthawillsofficial PR Department, let’s me play with upcoming collections…. These are definitely my lust haves; the ‘Spanish Moss Grande’ earrings, in Amethyst + Rose Gold… Just added to the Waiting List at samanthawills.com (Which I’ll too be joining, because they won’t let me keep them). -SWx #SamanthaWills #SamanthaWillsOfficial ? @alimitton | ?? @stojb

Small-town Australian

Wills has recently signed to be an ambassador for Optus’ Believe Big campaign targeting small businesses.

“We filmed a campaign flashing back to 2004 through to my life now. I really want people to know the struggles and hurdles of funding success.”

While Wills credits her naivety for much of the company’s strengths, she sometimes regrets the decision to get going without any formal business training.

“Every day I wish I’d studied business or management. But, I learn as I go. I might have learned the harder way on the job.”

Asked why a New Yorker is the right person for this campaign, Wills says she still considers herself not just Australian but a “small-town” Australian.

“I still go to Port Macquarie five to six times a year because my family live there. We stock the range at one shop in Port Macquarie and every time I notice the town is really growing and evolving very quickly.”

DDD

Henry Sapiecha

www.goodgirlsgo.com

www.www-gems.com

www.worldwidediamonds.info

www.gem-creations.com

www.collectables-au.com