Raising $75M and partnering with Generation Investment Management to help your team work with clarity and purpose

Photo of Dustin MoskovitzDustin Moskovitz
January 30th, 2018
5 min read
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Asana’s mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly. We believe that all human progress comes down to teamwork, from sustainable energy to improving education to curing disease. But historically, team collaboration has been messy and chaotic, with teams having to spend an inordinate amount of time tracking project status, piecing together who’s doing what by when, and reinventing processes ad infinitum. In fact, on average, knowledge workers spend half of their time[1] tracking down information and trying to get clarity for their teams, instead of being able to work toward their goals and achieve results.

Our aim is to give organizations the clarity they need to execute their projects and processes, so they can get more done with less effort. And as Asana works toward realizing our mission, we’re excited to help more and more teams to achieve the great things that were previously out of reach–things that really matter to the world.

Our aim is to give organizations the clarity they need to execute their projects and processes, so they can get more done with less effort.

Today, we’re excited to announce the addition of new resources and strategic partners to help fuel that mission: Asana has raised a $75M Series D round of financing led by Generation Investment Management. Generation is a London-based asset manager, co-founded by Al Gore in 2004 to prove the case for sustainable investing. Colin le Duc, one of the firm’s other co-founders and partner of Generation, will join our board of directors.

We have both greatly admired Al Gore and the Generation team for their sustainability leadership in the business and financial community. Generation focuses on accelerating sustainable companies with products and services aligned with a clean, healthy, fair, and safe society. In other words, those capable of enhancing quality of life, today and in the future. Given Asana’s mission, this is a natural partnership for our next chapter of global growth and enterprise expansion.

As Colin puts it, “We aim to invest in companies with sustainable business practices, products, and services that drive revenue and profitability. As knowledge work grows in scope, global distribution, and general complexity, companies need an effective way to coordinate and manage it all. We believe Asana offers its customers a strong value proposition for work management, rooted in transparency and productivity, while fundamentally reducing resource inefficiencies and busy work. It does this while writing the playbook for achieving a fast-growing business and a mindful, inclusive culture.”

Existing investors 8VC, Founders Fund, Sam Altman, and Dustin also participated in the round.

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Asana offers its customers a strong value proposition for work management, rooted in transparency and productivity, while fundamentally reducing resource inefficiencies and busy work.”

Origins: Helping teams be more effective together

We started Asana because we felt frustrated by how hard it was to get clarity on our teams through endless update meetings, email and chat threads, and project-status spreadsheets. At the time, Dustin was the co-founder and head of engineering at Facebook, and Justin had been an early employee at both Google and Facebook. As productive as our teams there were, we still felt constantly pained by how much time we all spent on coordinating. We wanted to be working on great products that would improve the world, but we were stuck doing this soul-sucking “work about work.”

So we started spending our nights and weekends building the in-house work management system that ultimately supercharged Facebook’s productivity. We realized this was an idea that could have a profound effect on all teams and organizations, not just the ones inside Facebook. We left to focus full-time on creating a new type of software that could empower all teams to have more clarity, accountability, and, ultimately, get results.

Now: Fast growth, mindful business

In the six years since we launched, Asana now has more than 30,000 paying customers, including many of the world’s most inspiring businesses and nonprofits. With annual recurring revenue growing at 80%, Asana is quickly becoming the operational system of record for organizations like Uber, Meals on Wheels, Autodesk, The City of Providence (Rhode Island), Stance Socks, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

We’re proud to be serving teams from 192 countries, from small businesses to massive enterprises, across every industry. Perhaps most exciting is the positive impact that customers tell us Asana is having on their teamwork: On average, customers report being 45% faster and more effective in achieving their goals than they were before, thanks to Asana.

International growth

As collaboration becomes increasingly global, more teams are turning to Asana to manage their work: 45% of our paying customers already come from outside the U.S., including teams at companies like Tesco, Sky, Danone, Chanel, Melia Hotels, Santander, Spotify, Schneider Electric, Decathlon, Roots, and Trivago.

We recently met with Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a leading charity based in the UK dedicated to the protection of whales and dolphins. You can’t imagine how happy we felt when CEO Chris Butler-Stroud told us how they use Asana to manage policy and fundraising work: “I can genuinely say that there are more dolphins and whales alive today thanks to Asana.” Our goal with our new round of funding is to bring that power—the capacity to accomplish more—to organizations across industries all over the world.

Momentum in the enterprise

Large enterprises have complex needs, but they want the same thing as small businesses: to move fast and work with purpose. That means empowering all teams across the organization to self-organize and manage their important projects and processes. As Forrester’s Margo Visitacion recently told us, “The vast majority of enterprise information workers are casual project managers, meaning they lack formal training, and for them, traditional project management tools add overhead to the work they need to deliver. [The Collaborative Work Management] CWM market is growing because more information workers see CWM as a way to enable them to organize. Asana simplifies team-based work management. Easy creation of personal, team, and project workspaces allows users to organize their work into shared projects for almost any type of initiative.”

Our vision for Work Management software includes helping large enterprise teams bring their most strategic plans and objectives together with great project and process management. We’re just getting started, but we’re already seeing traction in the enterprise with teams at AB-InBev, Viessmann Group, eBay, Uber, Overstock, Navy Federal Credit Union, Icelandair, and IBM—customers who are all relying on Asana to manage work better.

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Asana is like a crucial operating system for this next chapter. No task, project, or process is not in Asana.”

We’re inspired by the stories customers have shared with us. For example, at 101 years old, Viessmann Group is one of Germany’s most stalwart enterprises. Co-CEO Max Viessmann is moving the global HVAC manufacturer into the age of smart appliances and the internet-of-things–and along with it, the age of what he calls effective collaboration across its business and operational teams. Digital transformation is core to the company’s next 100 years, Max told us, and “Asana is like a crucial operating system for this next chapter. No task, project, or process is not in Asana,” Max says.

What’s next?

We know you rely on Asana to help your team accomplish more with less effort, and this new capital will help us build an even more useful product for you, your team, and your entire organization. We’re already developing exciting new features to help you better visualize your team’s work and manage it with less effort—stay tuned for the first of many exciting announcements this year. And we want you to be able to use Asana comfortably and productively, no matter where you are: We recently launched the Asana product and customer experience in German and French; we’ll have Spanish and Portuguese versions next month and Japanese later this year.

To give you the best product and customer experience possible, we’re also hiring a world-class team across the globe. Our leadership continues to grow: recently, Alex Hood, previously VP of Product at Intuit, joined Asana to lead our product organization; Eve Saltman, previously at GoPro, joined to head legal; and Dave King, previously at Salesforce, joined to lead marketing. We’re hiring for many roles, and designing the culture with the same loving care we bring to designing the product.

Building a growing, efficient, and profitable business with a great culture is critical to us achieving our mission. Today is an exciting milestone, but we’re just getting started in helping teams all over the world to do great things together. Thank you for being with us on this journey. 

[1] See McKinsey Global Institute, “Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies” (July 2012); Fast Company“70% Of Your Time At Work Is Wasted” (July 2014); Washington Post“How many hours of your life have you wasted on work email? Try our depressing calculator” (Oct. 2016).

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