Enterprise workflow tool Asana has raised a $28 million Series B round, it announced earlier today, bringing its total funding to $38 million. The round was led by storied investor Peter Thiel and Founders Fund, who invested in the collaboration software alongside existing backers like Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, and Mitch Kapor.
We’re hearing that the valuation of the Series B was at a formidable $280 million post money ($252 million pre). We’re also hearing that the pretty solid B round was a substantial initial investment for leader Founders Fund.
While he would not confirm the valuation, Asana co-founder and former Facebooker Justin Rosenstein did tell me that the company would be using the financing to bulk up on staff. “We’ve known from the start that hiring the world’s best designers, engineers, and other contributors is critical to achieving the Asana vision,” Rosenstein said, “And this capital enables us to continue doing just that.”
When asked why the company went with Founders Fund as a lead after many expressed interest, Rosenstein said, “Peter and Founders Fund have been clear that they’re interested in collaborating on bold projects that can have significant, leveraged, positive impact on the human condition. All of us agree that reshaping how people coordinate their collective action is a key opportunity to do that.”
Rosenstein wouldn’t reveal Asana user numbers, but told me that the startup had “tens of thousands of teams” using it (including us here at TC!) to manage tasks, and had doubled from tracking 9 million tasks to 18 million tasks within the past four months. One VC recently told me that almost every startup coming in to pitch was using Asana: A trendy enterprise app! I am seriously awed and impressed.
“I know enterprise isn’t usually your beat,” Rosenstein remarked when I mentioned that I had heard about and was interested in Asana’s popularity, “But I’m guessing that’s related to the fact that most enterprise services are just bad products, they’re made to appease the CIO instead of the end-user.”
One might say that Asana is the poster-child for the consumerization of the IT industry, “I’d like to think one of biggest things we’re doing differently is that we come from a deep product user-experience-above-all-else background.”
Well, whatever they’re doing, it’s working: After much initial hesitation, I am now an Asana convert. And yes, it’s actually helping me work. Like right now, even.
Asana aims to inspire not just with software. Check out the start of the company’s “Toast to The Future of Work“:
We are privileged that our jobs are fundamentally creative. That is, they consist in creating — in taking some bold idea or vision that begins life just in our minds, just in our collective imaginations, and manifesting it in the physical world. In so doing, we change the world around us. We can change the lives of others for the better, make something beautiful where before there was nothing.
From skyscrapers to software, from vaccines to space travel, greatness is the fruit of human collaboration, of groups of people with a shared vision working together, step by step, task by task.
Some see work as a way to become wealthy. We see “work” as an act of service, an act of love, for the greater good of humanity. Some people think of “corporations” and think of amassing capital, of accumulating resources for its own sake. While we do intend for Asana to thrive in the fiscal marketplace, we see that only as a means toward an end. We see companies as groups of people contributing something to the world. By working together, they can accomplish so much more than the sum of their parts.