Morning Markets: Let’s explore some new numbers (and a product announcement) from one of the quieter unicorns.
This morning Asana, which has developed a work management and productivity suite, announced that it crossed the $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) threshold last year. The milestone occurred during a period of eight consecutive quarters of revenue growth acceleration, measured on a percentage basis, according to the company.
Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily
The new growth metrics follow a year that saw Asana announce two funding rounds, the latter of which, a $50 million Series E from late November, valued it at $1.5 billion. Asana was founded in 2008 by Facebook alums Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein.
As you can imagine, Asana is not only announcing growth metrics today; after all this isn’t a quarterly reportl. The firm released a set of new features aimed at one of its key verticals as well. We spoke with some execs to understand the new metrics, and how the new tools might fit in its growth plans.
Breaking our general ban on product news, I want to provide a few notes on Asana’s new features as it will help us understand the company’s future.
Yesterday on a call with Crunchbase News, Asana’s co-founder Moskovitz, and its marketing head Dave King, detailed the new “Asana for Marketing and Creative Teams” feature set that the company announced this morning. The new product capabilities are part of the recently-launched “Asana Business” SKU, which sits between the company’s lowest-cost paid tier (“Premium”) and its enterprise offering.
Asana Business launched in November 2018, weeks before the company’s Series E was announced.
What Asana has done with its marketing and creative teams’ product work is bolster what the company can do for some of its most active customers. Think new tools like a portfolio feature that provides “a real-time view into how the marketing strategy” is performing, and “Proofing” and “Approvals” features aimed at marketing teams’ creative management needs.
I asked the pair of executives why marketing folks and creatives were picked as the first pursued vertical and was told that workers from those fields were “big adopters of the platform” already, making them an easy pick. According to Moskovitz, one-third of new Asana customers in the last six months are folks who could use the new tools.
In response to a question concerning which verticals could be targeted next by Asana’s product team, King declined to provide guidance.
But what matters is that Asana is expanding its product to better fit various industries at the same time that it is stretching geographically and growing its team.
Asana is growing in several ways at once. The company’s vertically-focused product strategy works in concert with its effort to internationalize its product through the inclusion of new languages and offices and the quick expansion of its team.
According to the company, Asana has 450 employees today. It intends to reach 700 by the end of this year. Given that Asana is doing things like hiring internationally (it said a human footprint in Tokyo is coming soon) instead of merely in its home market of San Francisco, it may manage to pull off the hiring goal.
The international side of Asana is key, as the company is “growing especially [quickly] in [its] new markets” according to Moskovitz. The firm also mentioned rising usage inside of companies over time as a growth lever.
Finally, when discussing its recent fundraising (and relatively modest $50 million Series E), Moskovitz said that Asana is a “really efficient business,” and that it has “the vast majority” of its recent capital raises “in the bank.” As Asana raised a total of $125 million last year, the comment implies that Asana won’t have to raise anytime soon.
The company declined to comment on IPO plans aside from saying that it won’t happen this year.
All told, it’s an interesting set of news from one of the quieter unicorns. New features for an active user cohort, quick growth in human and financial terms, and lots more to come this year, according to King. We won’t see an S-1 this year, sure, but I’m looking forward to reading it in 2020.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias