Apr 2, 2020 - Economy & Business

Notes app Notion raises money at $2 billion valuation

Photo: Courtesy of Notion

Notion, a San Francisco-based startup that’s developed a cult following for its cloud-based collaboration tool, raised $50 million in new funding at a $2 billion valuation.

Why it matters: The entire round happened after the coronavirus pandemic spread to the U.S.

  • Index Ventures led the round, and was joined by existing investors.
  • Notion says it's been profitable for the past 18 months.

“I think the velocity of how fast this moved is, I think, something nobody could have predicted,” Notion COO Akshay Kothari tells Axios of the company’s decision to raise funding once the Coronavirus crisis hit.

  • “I think a lot of potential recruits would want to join a stable company, and a lot of our customers would want to use Notion knowing that it’ll be around for a long time,” he adds.
  • According to Kothari, after rebuffing Index Ventures and others for more than a year, the startup called up Index’s Sarah Cannon on Wednesday of last week, and was finalizing the deal by Friday.
  • “The Notion team is visionary, the market is the 1B people that use Microsoft Office, and the engagement looks like Slack,” a source familiar with Index Ventures’ thinking tells Axios.

By the numbers:

  • Grew from one million to four million user in the last year, and saw China-based user signups grow threefold since the virus pandemic started.
  • According to Forbes, the company reportedly has an annualized run rate of $30 million.
  • Notion says its latest funding gives it 10 years of runway.

The big question: “I think long term were most likely an enterprise product,” says Kothari. Can a startup that’s entirely grown on word-of-mouth take on enterprise customers?

Go deeper: Tomorrow's workplace apps are pretty, cloud-based and collaborative

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Even with early curfews in New York City and Washington, D.C., protesters are still out en masse. Some protesters in D.C. said they were galvanized by President Trump's photo op in front of St. John's Church on Monday and threat to deploy U.S. troops in the rest of country if violence isn't quelled, NBC News reports.

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump backs off push to federalize forces against riots

Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

A day after threatening to federalize forces to snuff out riots across the country, the president appears to be backing off the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Aides say he hasn’t ruled out its use at some point, but that he's “pleased” with the way protests were handled last night (apart from in New York City, as he indicated on Twitter today) — and that for now he's satisfied with leaving the crackdown to states through local law enforcement and the National Guard.

What we expect from our bosses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Workers — especially millennials and Gen Zers — are paying close attention to the words and actions of their employers during national crises, such as the protests following the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Why it matters: American companies have an enormous amount of wealth and influence that they can put toward effecting change, and CEOs have the potential to fill the leadership vacuum left by government inaction. More and more rank-and-file employees expect their bosses to do something with that money and power.