Nine years ago, Tope Awotona started Calendly, pouring his life savings of $200,000 into it and later quitting his job selling software for EMC. Today, the company has 10 million users and counts Lyft, Ancestry.com, Indiana University and La-Z-Boy among its customers. Revenue last year passed $100 million, double what it booked the previous year. It could double again this year.
The company, which was founded in Atlanta but no longer has any physical offices, has been profitable since 2016. Last year it raised $350 million in funding from OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq Capital at a price that values the business at $3 billion. That means Awotona’s majority stake is worth at least $1.4 billion, after the 10% discount that Forbes applies to shares of all private companies. Awotona is one of just two Black tech billionaires in the United States, along with David Steward, the 70-year-old founder of Missouri-based IT provider World Wide Technology. “Tope could be the most successful African-American tech entrepreneur of his generation,” says David Cummings, founder of Atlanta Ventures, which led a $550,000 seed investment in Calendly seven years ago.
Calendly doesn’t have the scheduling business to itself. Square, Microsoft and Zurich-based Doodle offer competing products. But Calendly has gained traction with its sleek, consumer-friendly design and its freemium model that lets it gain paying customers with no marketing.
Read the full story on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyfeldman/2022/04/06/nigeria-born-tope-awotona-poured-his-life-savings-into-calendly-now-hes-one-of-americas-wealthiest-immigrants/?ss=entrepreneurs
Subscribe to FORBES: https://www.youtube.com/user/Forbes?sub_confirmation=1
Forbes newsletters: https://newsletters.editorial.forbes.com
Forbes on Facebook: http://fb.com/forbes
Forbes Video on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/forbes
Forbes Video on Instagram: http://instagram.com/forbes
More From Forbes: http://forbes.com
Forbes covers the intersection of entrepreneurship, wealth, technology, business and lifestyle with a focus on people and success.