Today, we are crushing on Tope Awotona, the founder of Calendly,a cloud-scheduling company, a multi million dollars company which he started out of passion.
The company has over $350 million from OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq , and increased the company valuation to $3 billion. Calendly is a software company that allows users to schedule meetings without all the back and forth emails.
Tope Awotona is a Nigerian-born entrepreneur, who moved to the United States when he was a teenager in 1996. He graduated from the University of Georgia . As an entrepreneur his first attempt was a dating site which never launched because Awotona quickly realised he neither had the resources nor the skills to run it.
He tried building an e-commerce site for selling projectors. The idea did not amount to much because he had no interest in projectors. Since projectors did not work, he built another e-commerce site, this time to sell grills only to find himself dealing with the same lack of passion for the business.
The idea of Calendly finally arrived a year later after all the trial and error. Awotona noticed a problem with the issue of going back and forth over email to schedule meetings, he intended to solve the problem.
So he started searching for a scheduling tool. But everything he came across was slow and clunky.
He launched Calendly in 2013 from his savings. Awotona said in an interview that there are over 10 million people using Calendly and that number grew 1,180 percent in 2020.
Calendly in 2021 raised about $70million in subscription revenues from its SaaS-based business model , and promises with projections of about $1 billion in future. Calendly valuation is very impressive and I must say.
One thing to learn from Tope Awolona’s success story is this ; sometimes it can be overwhelming when trying to choose an area of interest in business as a new entrepreneur. It is ok to try out different ideas , until you find one that you can focus on. Look for a need in others, or a problem you have experienced , that you have passion to solve. Find a solution and launch. Your passion will birth the future success of your business.
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