Asana, a work management platform, nabs $50M growth round at a $1.5B valuation

Asana, a service that groups and people use to plan and observe the progress of labor initiatives, is doubling down by itself mission: to form “the way forward for work,” within the phrases of co-founder and CEO Dustin Moskovitz. The startup, whose merchandise are utilized by hundreds of thousands of free and paying customers, at present is asserting that it has raised one other $50 million in funding — a Sequence E that catapults Asana into unicorn standing with a $1.5 billion valuation — to spend money on worldwide and product growth.

Asana has been on a funding tear: It raised $75 million simply 11 months in the past at a $900 million post-money valuation, bringing the entire this yr to $125 million, and $213 million since being based in 2008.

Led by Era Funding Administration — the London agency co-founded by former US Vice President Al Gore that additionally led that Sequence D in January — this newest spherical additionally consists of present buyers 8VC, Benchmark Capital and Founders Fund in addition to new buyers Lead Edge Capital and World Innovation Lab.

Asana has currently been targeted on worldwide development — half of its new gross sales are already coming from exterior the US — and increasing its product because it inches towards profitability. These are the areas the place its newest funding will go, too.

Particularly, it plans to open an AWS-based information heart in Frankfurt within the first half of subsequent yr, and it’ll set down extra roots in Asia-Pacific, with workplaces in Sydney and Tokyo. Additionally it is hiring in each markets. Asana has prospects in 195 international locations and 6 languages, and it appears prefer it’s homing in on these two areas as a result of it’s seeing essentially the most traction there.

On the product facet, the corporate has been progressively including machine studying, predictive and different AI options and it’ll proceed to try this as a part of a “long-term imaginative and prescient for marrying laptop and human intelligence to run whole corporations.”

“Our function is to assist leaders perceive the place their consideration could be most helpful and what to be targeted on,” Moskovitz, pictured proper with co-founder Justin Rosenstein, mentioned to me in an interview earlier this month when describing the corporate’s AI push.

The funding caps off an energetic yr for Asana.

Along with elevating $75 million in January, it announced 50,000 paying organizations and “hundreds of thousands” of free customers in September. It additionally launched new merchandise and options, resembling a paid tier, Asana for Business, for bigger organizations managing a number of initiatives; Timelines for drilling into sequential duties and milestones; and its first steps into AI, companies that begin to anticipate what customers have to see first and prioritise, primarily based on earlier behaviour, which group the person is on, and so forth:

Asana has been near profitability this yr, though it doesn’t appear like it has fairly reached that time but. Moskovitz advised me that in truth, it has held on to most of its earlier funding (that’s earlier than embarking on this subsequent wave of formidable expansions, although).

“We’ve a lot cash within the financial institution that we have now various choices [and are in a] sturdy place so select what makes essentially the most sense strategically,” he mentioned. “We’ve been lucky with buyers. The prime factor is imaginative and prescient match: do they consider the long-term future in the identical manner we do? Have they got the identical values and priorities? Era nailed that on so many ranges as a agency.”

How Asana suits into the combination with Slack, Field and others

Asana’s development and mission each mirror tendencies within the wider world of enterprise IT and collaboration inside it.

Slack, Microsoft Groups, Office from Fb and different messaging and chat apps have remodeled how coworkers talk with one another, each inside single workplaces and throughout wider geographies: they’ve changed e mail, telephone and different communication channels to some extent.

In the meantime, the rise of cloud-based companies like Dropbox, Field, Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft’s Azure have remodeled how folks in organizations handle and finally collaborate on information: the rise of cellular and cellular working have elevated the necessity for extra versatile file administration and entry.

The third space that has been much less lined is figure administration: as folks proceed to multitask on a number of initiatives – partly spurred by the rise within the different two collaboration classes – they want a platform that helps hold them organised and on prime of all that work. That is the place Asana sits.

“We take into consideration collaboration as three markets,” Moskovitz mentioned, “file collaboration, messaging, and work administration. Every of those has a large floor space and depth to them. We predict it’s essential that every one corporations have instruments that they use from every of those large buckets.”

It isn’t the one one in that large bucket.

Asana alternate options embody Airtable, Wrike, Trello and Basecamp. As we have now identified earlier than, that aggressive strain is one more reason Asana is on the trail to proceed rising and making its service extra sticky.

Certainly, simply earlier this month Airtable raised $100 million at a $1.1 billion valuation. Airtable has a unique method – its platform can be utilized for greater than mission administration – however it’s most undoubtedly used to construct templates exactly to trace initiatives.

You would possibly even argue that Airtable’s present providing might current a sort of product roadmap for what may be thought-about subsequent for Asana.

For now, although, Asana is build up large prospects for its present companies.

The product initially bought its begin when Moskovitz and Rosenstein – as respectively as co-founder and early worker of Fb – constructed one thing to assist their coworkers  on the social community handle their workloads. Now, it has a variety of customers that embody quite a few different tech companies, but additionally others.

London’s Nationwide Gallery, for instance, makes use of Asana to plan and launch exhibitions and enterprise initiatives; the grocery store chain Tesco’s digital campaigns; Sony Music, which additionally makes use of it for advertising administration but additionally to trace a digitization mission for its again music catalog; Uber, which has managed some 600 metropolis expansions by means of Asana thus far.

“At Era Funding Administration, we’re grounded within the philosophy that by means of strategic investments in main, mission-driven corporations we will transfer in the direction of a extra sustainable future,” mentioned Colin le Duc, co-founder and companion, Era Funding Administration, in an announcement.

“We see Collaborative Work Administration as a definite and quickly increasing section, and Asana has the correct product and group to steer the market. By means of Dustin and the group, Asana is altering how companies all over the world collaborate, epitomizing what it means to ship outcomes with a mission-driven ethos.”

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