Entertainment & SocietyMeet Tope Awotona, The Richest Nigerian-American in US

Meet Tope Awotona, The Richest Nigerian-American in US


February 04, (THEWILL) – Forbes magazine has named Nigerian-born Tope Awotana as the richest immigrant and Nigerian-American residing in the United States. This is coming two years after he made Forbes billionaire list, nabbing the 2,076th spot.

The 42-year-old, born in Lagos, Nigeria is the second black tech billionaire in the US after David Steward. He holds a net worth of $1.2 billion and is the founder and CEO of Calendly, a scheduling software app for high performance teams and individuals.

Like many businessmen, the road to success was not smooth at the beginning for Awotona. His life was defined by tragedy. He immigrated to the United States as a teenager after watching his dad get shot and killed by a criminal who stole their car. His mom wanted a better life for him and his siblings and so moved the family there. He fell into deep depression and could not eat or sleep for months as a result of the tragedy of seeing his father murdered. While it was a hard transition for him, he was driven to become successful for his dad.

Before founding Calendly, Awotona had started a few other businesses, including one that sold projectors and another that sold garden tools, which flopped. Calendly was founded on the backbone of his frustrations. After graduating from college and working for many years in tech sales with companies such as Dell EMC, he soon realised how much time he was wasting just scheduling sales meetings, he decided to create a tool that will help him schedule appointments without sending emails back and forth. He put all his savings into it, quit his job and started Calendly.

He built its first product by hiring a Ukrainian firm for programming help. He moved to Kyiv during anti-government protests eight years ago for a while to ensure his dream saw the light of day. He bootstrapped Calendly for years before taking on a $350 million investment in 2021 that valued the firm at $3 billion.

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