Nigeria-born Tope Awotona poured his life savings into Calendly. Today, he’s one of America’s wealthiest immigrants.
Tope 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.
According to founder of Atlanta Ventures David Cummings, “Tope could be the most successful African-American tech entrepreneur of his generation”
9 years ago, Tope 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, 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.
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.
“In my life, I’ve benefited from not taking the conventional wisdom,” Tope says. “It’s benefited me personally, and I think it has benefited the business.”
Congratulations to Tope Awotona on being listed in the annual Forbes Billionaires list. Excited to see more Africans impacting the world with tech and getting rewarded for it.
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