Tope Awotona, is the billionaire Founder & CEO of Calendly LLC, since February 2013. He is the first Nigerian American to become a billionaire in the United States of America.
Mr. Awotona founded Calendly in 2013 with the vision of simplifying scheduling for everyone without the back-and-forth emails. He invested his life savings of $200,000 into the company while still working as a sales rep for EMC. With Mr. Awotona’s strategic direction, the platform has grown and evolved to over 10 million monthly users and surpassing $100 million in revenue in 2021.
The company raised $350 million in funding from OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq Capital at a price that values the business at $3 billion. He is the majority owner of the company's shares, which are worth at least $1.4 billion according to Forbes. Calendly has been profitable since its third year in business.
“I just know the country that produced me,” he explained to TechCrunch. “There are a million Topes in Nigeria. The difference for me was my parents. But I’m not a diamond in the rough, and I want to get involved in some way to help with that full potential.”
Personal Attributes and Interests
- Grew up in Lagos , Nigeria and immigrated to the United States with his family as a teenager.
- Credits his parents as his greatest role model.
- Father was a microbiologist and serial entrepreneur.
- His mother was co-owner of a small pharmacy while working as a manager at the Nigerian Central Bank.
- When he was 12 years old, his father was murdered in a carjacking.
- He graduated high school at just 15 years old.
- After starting Calendly entirely with his own money, he began seeking VC funding but no VC wanted to invest. Instead of giving up he persevered by learning to stretch his money.
- He plans to return to Nigeria and help contribute to developing more entrepreneurs like himself.
- CEO & Founder, Calendly
- Named Enterprise Account Manager, EMC
- National Account Manager, Carrier & MGA Markets, Vertafore
- Account Executive, Perceptive Software
- Tivoli Software Sales Rep, IBM
Board and Advisor Roles
- Board Member, SalesLoft
- Bachelor, Management Information Systems, University of Georgia - Terry College of Business, 2002.