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Canva co-founders named Australia’s richest people under 40 with $16.5 billion fortune


Co-founders of graphic design business Canva Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht are officially the richest Australians aged under 40, after topping the Financial Review’s 2021 Young Rich List for the first time.

Perkins and Obrecht, aged 34 and 35 respectively, have an estimated net worth of $16.5 billion as more than 60 million people users join on to their user-friendly graphic design business.

The couple, who are also married, have seen an explosion in their wealth during the COVID-19 pandemic – last year their estimated net worth was almost 80 per cent lower at $3.43 billion.

Canva CEO Melanie Perkins tops the list with her husband, with the pair boasting a net worth of more than $16 billion. (Jessica Hromas)

Each year the Financial Review Young List compiles the estimated net worth of Australians aged under 40, with this year seeing a dramatic rise in cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and wellness influencers.

To qualify, every person on the list must not have inherited their wealth.

In third place was Afterpay mastermind and 31-year-old Nick Molnar, who boasts a net worth of $2.78 billion. He was followed by Virtual Gaming World’s Laurence Escalante (age 40, $2.68 billion) and Sam Prince of Zambrero Mexican restaurant fame (age 38, $1.1 billion).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, cryptocurrency became a major sector of note in this year’s list, with seven Young Rich Listers making their fortune in digital gold to a collective tune of more than $2.5 billion.

Afterpay founders Anthony Eisen and Nicholas Molnar (pictured) agree to sell 2.05 million shares, representing 10 per cent of their holdings.
Afterpay founder Nicholas Molnar has reaped the benefits of COVID-19 induced online shopping. (Dominic Lorrimer)

One of these is list debutant and 40-year-old Kain Warwick, whose asset managing company Synthetix (which deals with cryptocurrency) has skyrocketed him into seventh place with a net worth of $879 million.

Rounding out the list is 33-year-old Tah-nee Beard and 37-year-old Simon Beard, whose millennial fashion juggernaut Culture Kings has grown their net worth to $626 million.

Rich List co-editor Julie-anne Sprague said it was encouraging to note a record 15 women were named on this year’s list, up from 12 the year prior.

“There is a record number of women on this year’s Young Rich List, with many of them carving our fortunes from a boom in health and wellness spending and our growing desire to look and feel good,” said Rich List co-editor Julie-anne Sprague.

“We are seeing an increasing number of businesses being developed by women who are harnessing their strong social media following to create enviable launchpads for their business interests.”

Owen Kerr (Facebook)
Owen Kerr of Pepperstone Financial Services is ranked number 8 with a personal net worth of $728 million. (Facebook)

Rich List co-editor Michael Bailey noted that the departure of Atlassian founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes due to age did not dent the cumulative amount of wealth amassed by Australia’s youth.

“This year’s list is the first since 2007 that doesn’t include the significant wealth held by Atlassian co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar who are both too old to qualify for the Young Rich List. Given their absence, it was surprising the overall wealth came in at a record $41.3 billion,” said Rich List co-editor Michael Bailey.

“It shows the depth of Australia’s technology sector and the significant wealth being created by a growing number of young entrepreneurs.”

Tah-nee Beard (33) and Simon Beard (37) have grown their millennial fashion juggernaut Culture Kings business into a net worth of $626 million. (Getty)

The Financial Review Young Rich List 2021 Top 10

Rank:

Name:

Age:

Worth:

Business:

1 & 2

Melanie Perkins & Cliff Obrecht

34 & 35

$16.5 billion

Canva

3

Nicholas Molnar

31

$2.78 billion

Afterpay

4

Laurence Escalante

40

$2.68 billion

Virtual Gaming Worlds

5

Sam Prince

38

$1.1 billion

Zambrero Mexican

6

Fung Lam

40

$1.02 billion

Online retail

7

Kain Warwick

40

$879 million

Synthetix

8

Owen Kerr

37

$728 million

Pepperstone Financial

9

Cyan Ta’eed

40

$664 million

Envato

10 & 11

Tah-nee & Simon Beard

33 & 37

$626 million

Culture Kings

The Financial Review Young Rich List is available on www.afr.com from Friday, October 29. The Young Rich List also appears in a special edition of AFR Magazine, featuring profiles and analysis of the trends that are making the Young Rich even richer, which is inside this Friday’s Financial Review newspaper.



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