Black-owned scheduling startup Calendly valued at $3B after new investment

CEO Tope Awotona raised a second round of capital for his growing company

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A huge investment into the Atlanta-based tech startup Calendly has moved the company’s value into billion-dollar territory.

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According to Biz Journals, the media scheduling business has raised a $350M investment, bringing company value to more than $3B. OpenView Venture Partners, a Boston-based firm, and existing investor, and Iconiq Capital, a San Fransisco-based firm both contributed to the investment. It will be used to provide liquidity for early shareholders and employees, as well as continue product innovation.

Tope Awotona www.theGrio.com
Tope Awotona (Instagram @CalendlyHQ)

“Our profitable, unique, product-led growth model has led to Calendly becoming the most used, most integrated, most loved scheduling platforms for individuals and large enterprises alike,” said CEO Tope Awotona, according to Biz Journals. The outlet reported he was named an Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 Under 40 honoree.

“While we considered outside investment an unnecessary distraction, we made the decision to partner with OpenView and Iconiq because of their insight and extended network within the tech industry,” Awotona said.

Calendly had a successful 2020, according to the report. At the end of last year, the company added two new senior executives to help grow employees and revenue. Jeff Diana, a previous Calendly advisor is now the brand’s chief people officer and Patrick Moran joined as the chief revenue officer. The company doubled its subscription revenue to $70M, and more than 10 million people use Calendly each month to schedule meetings, including teams at companies such as Zoom.

A Calendly spokesperson shared with Biz Journals this most recent fundraising round is the company’s first since receiving $550K from local firm Atlanta Ventures and OpenView. Awotona founded Calendly back in 2013 at the Atlanta Tech Village, a startup incubator founded by David Cummings who provided the first investment.

During an interview with Inc in 2019, the CEO shared how coming from Lagos, Nigeria helped to build his success. He revealed how early trauma has shaped his life and how moving to Atlanta helped him develop a new mindset.

“When I was 12, I watched my dad die in a carjacking. These guys followed him home and demanded the keys to his car. He threw the keys at them. And they shot him. If that happened, in the United States, I would have gone through a lot of therapy. In Nigeria, it happened on Friday and I went to school on Monday. For six months, I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. That insomnia has carried on to my adult life. I’ll probably have it forever,” he shared.

“In 1996, my family moved to Atlanta. It’s a big city like Lagos, and it also has crazy traffic. That’s where the similarities end. Lagos has an absolute absence of law, order, and structure. Lagosians don’t think any rules apply to them: If they see a line, they go around it, and rules are suggestions, more or less. Nigerians love that: ‘If I’m assertive and aggressive enough, I can get away with whatever I want,'” he continued.

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As described on the Calendly website, the service can “connect with up to six of your calendars to automatically check availability and help you connect with your best contacts, prospects, and clients.” Calendly currently has three subscription plans listed with the first tier set at $0.

According to Biz Journals, Awotona’s new goal is $11B in revenue.

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