Calendly, an Atlanta-based provider of appointment scheduling software, recently announced it has closed a $350 million investment from investors like OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq Capital, putting its value at more than $3 billion. The investment will be used to provide liquidity for early shareholders and employees, as well as to continue product innovation.
In 2020, Calendly posted nearly $70 million in annual recurring revenue, over double its figure from the year prior. By all means, it has been considered a unicorn in terms of its success.
“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,” explained Tope Awotona, the CEO and founder of Calendly. “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.”
Calendly is an easy-to-use scheduling software system that helps users schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails. Through sharing one’s custom Calendly link, an account holder can display their available meeting times, and the software will guide the end-user through selecting an available meeting slot, create the meeting and use all the meeting’s guests’ preferred scheduling platforms to add the meeting to their respective cloud-based calendars.
One of the application’s key features and the secret to its ever-growing popularity has been its ability to integrate with several popular calendar applications to make it easy to schedule meetings quickly and efficiently. In fact, Calendly seamlessly works with Google, Office 365, and Outlook calendars and apps like Salesforce, Stripe, PayPal, Google Analytics, GoToMeeting, and Zapier.
Born into an upper-middle-class Nigerian family, Awotona emigrated to the US from the suburbs of Lagos with his family to attend school, earning a degree in business from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. After a few jobs as a salesman and launching a few e-commerce ventures, he cashed in on his 401K and maxed out his savings and credit cards to create Calendly in 2013.
“What led me to create a scheduling product was my personal need,” Awotona said TechCrunch. “At the time I wasn’t looking to start a business. I just was trying to schedule a meeting, but it took way too many emails to get it done, and I became frustrated.
“I decided that 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 I was trying to arrange meetings with, you know, 10 or 20 people,” he continued. “I was just looking for an easy way for us to easily share our availability and, you know, easily find a time that works for everybody.”