Home » Forty-year-old Nigerian-born businessman Tope Awotona becomes billionaire

Forty-year-old Nigerian-born businessman Tope Awotona becomes billionaire

by Omokolade Ajayi

Tope Awotona, a 40-year-old founder and the CEO of Calendly, an Atlanta-based scheduling platform for high-performing teams, is the latest African to join the elite list of U.S. businessmen worth more than $1 billion.

A report published by Forbes today and seen by Billionaires.Africa revealed that Awotona’s majority stake in Calendly, is worth at least $1.4 billion, after the 10-percent discount that the U.S. business magazine applies to shares of all private companies.

His $1.4-billion stake in the Atlanta-based tech firm makes him the eighteenth Black billionaire and one of only two Black tech billionaires in the United States, alongside David Steward, the 70-year-old founder of Worldwide Technology, one of the largest African-American-owned businesses.

Awotona may be the most successful African-American tech entrepreneur of his generation, according to David Cummings, founder of Atlanta Ventures, which led a $550,000 seed investment in Calendly seven years ago.

Awotona moved to Atlanta with his family when he was 15 years old, where he studied computer science at the University of Georgia before switching to business and management information, which allowed him to work for Perceptive Software, Vertafore and EMC (since acquired by Dell).

How he built his billion-dollar fortune is a success story of self-belief, resilience, and a desire to solve problems in a fast-changing corporate world, as he launched Calendly in 2013 after investing his life savings of $200,000 in the business idea.

Calendly raised $350 million in funding from OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq Capital nearly a year ago, at a price that values the tech firm at $3 billion. According to Awotona, the company, which has no physical office, has also been able to maintain its profit position since 2016.

In 2021, Calendly revenue surpassed $100 million as it was able to leverage its 10 million users to create value. Calendly is free for individual users, but corporations typically pay $25 per user a month.

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