How Calendly is building a platform by turning scheduling into a center-stage event

The tools you use the most are the ones you do not think. Calendly, an app that helps individuals organize, schedule, and track meetings, is a good example of this. Today, tens of millions of individuals use Calendly to schedule meetings with millions of others. Calendly, on the other hand, may not garner much attention because its objective is to bring individuals from one step to the next in their day, and from one piece of software to the next.

That was the case until last year, at least. Many of us ordered home to work because of the COVID-19 outbreak, and because commutes cut off and people could not meet at work, we found ourselves in a meeting frenzy. Calendly was gaining traction, and investors were taking note.

Calendly was born out of founder Tope Awotona’s need for a better way to arrange his life, and it has maintained a modest profile even as it has grown. However, overnight, a combination of pandemic-fueled growth and significant money effectively transformed everything. Earlier this year, we looked at how the Atlanta-based business raised $350 million at a $3 billion value seemingly out of nowhere. That is a lot to ask of an entrepreneur and a startup, and that was the topic of our TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 fireside talk. How do you take a good product to the next level — and, honestly, why should you?

How Calendly is building a platform by turning scheduling into a center-stage event

“At the time [of that investment round], the issue I had was if the company would use it as a diversion and grow fascinated with the exposure that comes with it.” Or will we remain focused and work tirelessly for our clients, partners, and ourselves?” Awotona remarked. “Nine months later, it’s evident we’ve accomplished the latter. Our principles and culture have mostly stayed unchanged.”

The company is still focusing on the “prosumers” who helped it expand. These are people who came to Calendly not because it was required by their organization, but because they were sent a link for a meeting by someone else, were impressed with the UX, and began using it themselves – the traditional type of virality that has propelled a lot of technology to ubiquity. Calendly is doubling focused on building solutions for groups of users, starting with teams and progressing all the way up to huge companies, in addition to its focus on prosumers.