Atlanta-Based Calendly Raises $350 Million, Valuation hits $3 Billion

Cloud-based scheduling platform Calendly recently announced that it has successfully raised $350 million in funding. The investors include OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq Capital, totaling the company’s value at more than $3 billion.

The company’s high valuation is a result of the explosive growth it experienced last year. Before then, Calendly had less than a million users, but the growth the company saw in 2020 has increased its user-base to about 10 million. Still, in 2020, Calendly doubled its subscription revenue to $70 million.

Calendly is a cloud-based platform that provides a quick and easy way to manage time in your calendar for people to book appointments with you in the available spaces. The app is linked to calendars like Google and Microsoft Outlook. It also has a growing number of tools and features to enhance customer experience. Calendly allows users to pay for a service in the case where a meeting is not a business meeting. For example, if you want to pay for a fitness class. Calendly subscription price ranges from free (one calendar/one user/ one event), to premium ($8 per month) and pro ($12 per month). Paid subscriptions include more calendars, events, integrations, features, and richer packages.

The incredible growth and expansion of Calendly can be attributed to the new work-from-home culture. Many organizations and workers including contractors, teachers, health workers, entrepreneurs, and the likes use Calendly to schedule meetings and appointments.

Calendly will use the $350 million funding to expand its innovation and provide liquidity for early shareholders and employees.

The cloud-based scheduling company was founded by Nigerian, Tope Awotona, who grew up in Nigeria but moved to the US as a teenager. The company has been profitable since 2016 but had only raised $550,000 in previous funding.

Before starting Calendly, Awotona had started other business ventures including building a dating site that never launched and launching an e-commerce site that also met its untimely end.

“What led me to create a scheduling product was my personal need,” Awotona said. “At the time, I wasn’t looking to start a business. I was just trying to schedule a meeting, but it took way too many emails to get it done, and I became frustrated. I decided I was going to look for scheduling products that existed on the market that I could sign up for, but the problem I was facing at the time was trying to arrange meetings… I was just looking for an easy way for us to easily share our availability… and easily find a time that works for everybody.”

Awotona also shared his early experience seeking VC funding. He said there was no tangible reason for his request not being granted other than him being Black.

“I raided my bank account and 401(k) to launch Calendly in 2013. Eventually, I ran out of money and started to seek VC funding. I had a working product, and customers using it, and everyone said no. Meanwhile, I watched other people who fit a different ‘profile’ get money thrown at them for shitty ideas. Those VCs were ignorant and shortsighted. The only thing I could attribute to it was that I was black,” said Awotona.

Speaking about this new investment, Awotona said the decision to partner with Openview and Iconiq was because of their “insight and extended network within the tech industry.” The company isn’t planning on stopping expansion anytime. Rather, it plans to add new tools and features that will enhance customer’s scheduling experiences.

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