Tope Awotona, a Nigerian-born tech billionaire, joined David Steward, founder of Missouri-based IT service World Wide Technology, as the only two Black tech billionaires in the United States.
Awotona was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to a middle-class family. His father is a microbiologist and entrepreneur, while his mother works at the central bank. At the age of 12, Awotona witnessed his father being shot and killed during a carjacking. By the age of 15, he had moved to Atlanta with his family and was studying computer science at the University of Georgia before pursuing a career in business and information management.
Before launching Calendly, he sold software to tech corporations like EMC and created a few unsuccessful enterprises. “Our profitable, unique, product-led growth model has resulted in Calendly becoming the most used, integrated, and beloved scheduling platforms for individuals and large enterprises alike,” Awotona told reporters after his platform raised $350 million in funding in 2021.
Here are three businesses of the tech billionaire:
Awotona founded Calendly in Atlanta about 11 years ago with his life savings of $200,000 before leaving his job selling software for EMC. Calendly is intended to simplify the process of locating meeting times simple. Since its inception, the site has been used by approximately 10 million individuals each month, making it extremely popular. The app’s popularity was ascribed to the coronavirus epidemic, which has caused an increase in the number of people working from home.
Calendly is utilized by the majority of Fortune 500 organizations and nearly all of the SaaS 1000. Its customers include included Ancestry.com, Indiana University, and Lift.
Vonza is an all-in-one business platform for entrepreneurs and innovators, with 5000 customers from around the world in 2022. The achievement was accomplished in less than two years. Awotona was intrigued by the platform’s success and decided to invest in it. His investment was intended to boost Vonza’s marketing engine and reach more customers. Vonza announced in 2022 that the financing will also help to expedite its marketing engine, allowing it to scale faster and assist entrepreneurs, coaches, and creators in simplifying and growing their online businesses.
Givebutter is a G2 fundraising platform that has helped over a million changemakers worldwide raise over $300 million in donations. In 2022, the company closed a $7 million startup investment round.
Awotona was among the investors who participated in the seed round, as reported by PRNewswire.
“Givebutter is a rare breed in today’s startup world, reminding me of the early days of Calendly,” Awotona, the founder and CEO, stated. “They are profitable, mission-driven, customer-focused, and completely bootstrapped up to this point. I’m excited to see what their team can do with additional capital to put to work.”