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WA’s best and brightest young guns top rich list

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Three of WA’s bright entrepreneurial talents have made it into the top 10 of the latest Young Rich List.

University of WA graduate Melanie Perkins and her partner Cliff Obrecht, who co-founded design software unicorn Canva in 2012, took out equal second place with a combined wealth valuation of $3.43 billion.

The engaged couple featured in The Australian Financial Review Young Rich List, which profiled the nation’s wealthiest self-made entrepreneurs under 40.

Ms Perkins, now aged 32, first came up with the idea for the platform when she was 19. In June, she became one of Australia’s richest women after Canva doubled its value to $8.6b after a private capital raising.

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Perth’s Laurence Escalante, whose online poker and slot machine business went gangbusters during COVID-19 lockdowns, took out the sixth spot with a valuation of $919 million.

The 38-year-old’s Virtual Gaming Worlds quadrupled its pre-tax profits to $106m in 2019-20. He got the idea for the business, which was founded in 2010, from playing the World of Warcraft video game with his friends and wishing they could play for the chance to win prizes.

Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar, 40, took out the top spot with a jaw-dropping $17.77b — more than five times that of Ms Perkins and her fiance.

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It’s the first time he has featured on the Young Rich List without co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, who turned 41 on November 17.

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