Unicorn entrepreneur Melanie Perkins co-founded Canva, creating a “real” unicorn: a company with over $1 billion in valuation and revenue, not just a valuation like a VC unicorn. VC unicorns are worth more than $1 billion, but they often have very little sales, so they may be of fantasy value.
Unicorn’s strategy is as follows (for more information see No adventures, all I got and www.dileeprao.com) used by Perkins:
· Emerging trends matter. Most unicorn entrepreneurs either pivot to new trends (like Walmart’s Sam Walton) or launch ventures based on new trends before the industry or market takes off. Perkins did the same. She took advantage of the internet and online design trends.
· Smart Pivot. Perkins launched Canva for the almanac market in 2011. In 2013 she switched to a much larger all-online design marketplace. This allowed the company to scale globally more easily than with physical products. Canva also started out with a “freemium” product, expanding to paid users after the company started to take off.
· Right segment. Unlike many of its competitors who served sophisticated designers, Perkins focused on designing his skills for the average user.this for her A much bigger market to grow.
· Smart growth rate. Canva has grown at a rate that allows it to dominate the industry while generating positive cash flow. Perkins avoided rapid growth to reduce mistakes.
· Use VC as a tool and maintain control. Perkins bootstrapped her first venture, her Fusion Books, and built it without VC. When she pivoted to her Canva, she used her financial smarts skills to grow cash using her flow and her VC as a tool to reduce dilution and capitalize on the wealth she created. kept more.
· Delay or avoid VCs: VCs raise money after Aha, after evidence of feasibility. Perkins said that instead of after product or strategy he looked for VCs and lost control of ventures, after leadership he got VCs and stayed on as CEO to maintain control. By building her Fusion Books and waiting to serve her nearly 400 customers, she has proven her startup and her launching skills, as well as her leadership abilities. By raising her funding from her VCs in the region, rather than from her VC powerhouses in Silicon Valley at first, she continued to manage her venture and replaced her CEO as a professional. I was never beaten.
• Continual improvement. Perkins continues to evolve and improve Canva, starting with internationalization (2016), rewriting code for faster improvements (2017), video editing (2021) and paying customers, including enterprise users. took the lead.
· The right skills. Perkins was a designer and taught design in the emerging field of social media. This is one of the key rules of unicorn entrepreneurship. Learn key skills for launching in a new industry.
My take: Melanie Perkins is a late-stage VC unicorn entrepreneur, the largest group of unicorn entrepreneurs using VC. This means that the venture has acquired her VC from her capitalist. Ventures Her capitalists had already built a foundation to prove to investors that she had the skills and that her strategy had potential, so she favored her CEO as a professional. I didn’t ask to resign as CEO. By controlling her Canva, she was able to use her own vision and skills to guide her Canva and make it a unicorn.