Forbes Names Tope Awotona, 42, Who Owns $3 Billion Tech Company, Richest US-based Nigerian

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Tope Awotona is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Calendly, a scheduling software company, worth $3 billion.
He was born in Lagos but immigrated to the US in his teenage years, and previously worked as a salesman for tech firms like EMC (now Dell EMC).
Forbes disclosed that Awotona started Calendly in response to his frustration with the time-consuming back-and-forth emails needed for meeting scheduling.
Having self-funded Calendly for an extended period, Tope Awotona secured a substantial $350 million investment in 2021, propelling the company’s valuation to $3 billion.
Before the creation of Calendly, Awotona ventured into other businesses, such as a projector-selling venture and a garden tools enterprise, both of which did not succeed. The majority of his wealth, however, comes from the software he created.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia, Awotona resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with his family.
Calendly, the software company he founded, specialises in a business communication platform designed for teams to efficiently schedule, prepare, and follow up on external meetings.
Awotona started Calendly, after investing all his life savings of $200,000 into it and later quitting his job selling software for EMC.
As part of the success of his initiatives, the company has 10 million users and counts Lyft, Ancestry.com, Indiana University and La-Z-Boy among its customers.
The American business magazine said Awotona’s revenue last year passed $100 million, double what it booked the previous year.
It further said that 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 per cent 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.
Attesting to his success, David Cummings, founder of Atlanta Ventures, which led a $550,000 seed investment in Calendly seven years ago, said, “Tope could be the most successful African-American tech entrepreneur of his generation.”
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