- Popular productivity startup Notion is acquiring the Cron calendar app as it seeks to expand.
- Notion has grown over the past few years and is focused on supporting its growing user base.
- Users have been asking for a calendar app and Cron fits into Notion’s roadmap, executives said.
Notion, the $10 billion productivity startup that bills itself as an all-in-one workplace, is acquiring the Cron calendar app.
As one of the hottest companies in Silicon Valley, Notion has seen growth in recent years. It combines documents, internal wiki pages, task management tools, and spreadsheets into one customizable application. Now, with Cron, Notion adds a calendar to its productivity tools.
Notion declined to disclose terms of the deal and Cron’s valuation is unknown. Cron debuted relatively recently, as it was part of Y Combinator’s 2020 winter batch and raised a $3.5 million seed round led by Initialized Capital in March of that year. Other investors in the round included Figma CEO Dylan Field, former LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Sunrise co-founder Jeremy Le Van.
Cron seeks to differentiate itself by making scheduling easier. For example, a keyboard shortcut allows users to share when available via email or text.
Notion itself raised $275 million last year as tech workers and TikTok influencers embraced its document-based approach to teamwork and project planning. This brought its total funding to $343.35 million. Notion has seen its daily active users quadruple to more than 20 million globally in the past 12 months amid a bigger boom in remote working. The company boasts that 90% of Forbes Cloud 100 Index startups also use the app.
Both companies share the goal of making people more productive, which is why the deal was struck, Notion chief product officer Madhu Muthukumar told Insider. He said many users were thrilled when Notion executives talked about a calendar integration at the company’s user conference in March.
“Our goal is to create these wonderful tools for people to really unlock their potential,” he said. “When you look at the product and work with it, you see the same things. You see a really robust and useful tool. It’s more than a calendar. Like it’s really how people organize their time .”
Raphael Schaad, founder and CEO of Cron, echoed that sentiment. He and Notion CEO Ivan Zhao first met because they used each other’s products. They first started discussing creating integrations between their two products, but quickly realized there was more potential in joining forces, he said.
“I’ve always seen the calendar as something much more powerful than something that can only have a few business meetings a week,” Schaad told Insider.
There are also already a lot of user overlaps between Notion and Cron, Schaad said. Cron’s product isn’t in general availability yet, but it’s already got a lot of buzz, reminiscent of Notion in its early days. Many users have already made simple integrations between products, such as adding a Notion document to a Cron calendar event, he said.
Both companies plan to see what their user bases want and integrate the two products from there.
For Notion, the acquisition is another step towards its goal of helping people become more productive. Although Notion helps people work asynchronously, many people use it to organize their time, Muthukumar said.
Schaad and his small team join Notion’s 320 employees. For now, they will continue to build Cron as a separate app, while starting to work on integrations with Notion.
“When we look at the product that Raphael and his team have built, we know it’s one of those tools that can be invaluable every day,” Muthukumar said.
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