The History of Notion: Everything from launch to now.

Explore the triumph of Notion, the versatile all-in-one workspace tool that has emerged as a preferred choice for both personal productivity and team collaboration.

Jan 5, 2024
The History of Notion: Everything from launch to now.
Notion is like the ultimate all-in-one tool that's making waves everywhere. The free plan gives you this cool digital brain to organize life, track finances, and more. But, Have you heard about the story behind Notion Lab Inc.? Let's uncover the awesome success tale of Notion!

Notion-Noteworthy Aspects

Notion Company Statistics are given below:
Company Name
Industry Type
Work Collaboration
San Francisco, California
Ivan Zhao, Simon Last
Developed by
Notion Labs Inc.
$10 Billion (October 2021)
Total Funding Raised
$343.2 Million

Notion Creators

Ivan Zhao and Simon Last are the brains behind Notion, and Ivan is rocking the role of CEO. Now, Ivan's love for coding goes way back to his childhood, and he's got degrees in cognitive science and fine arts. Before diving into Notion, he did his thing at a cool software company called Inkling.
Simon, a designer and engineer based in San Francisco, previously worked at Space Telescope Science Institute and Nebula Inc. He holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland.
In 2013, Ivan and Simon founded Notion to create a more unique and customizable user experience.

The Rise of Notion

In just 7 years since launch, Notion has amassed 30M+ users, 4M+ customers, and secured $350M in funding, reaching an impressive valuation of $10 billion.

Notion-The Startup Saga


Notion Labs Inc, founded by Ivan Zhao and co-founded by Simon Last in 2013, aimed to be the LEGO of productivity tools, enabling non-techies to customize tools without code. By the first year, Notion expanded to four employees and secured a minor customer base.


After a year of intense effort, they discovered Notion was on the wrong tech stack. Faced with a tough choice, they opted for a restructuring gamble.


They revamped their company structure, letting go of all 4 employees. Ivan sought family support, borrowing $150k from his mother to rescue the struggling venture. Opting for a fresh start in Japan, they aimed to eliminate social distractions and concentrate solely on Notion's development.


Notion 1.0 debuted in March 2016, earning the top spot on Product Hunt as the #1 Product of the Day, Week, and Month.


Notion expanded its reach a year later with releases for Windows and iOS, giving rise to the vibrant community we recognize today. Its popularity surged through word of mouth, captivating users globally from dedicated enthusiasts to the farthest corners of the Earth.


In March 2018, Notion 2.0 surpassed its original launch with a highly successful update, earning the #1 Product of the Day, Week, and Month on Product Hunt for a 2nd time.


In September 2019, they scaled up every aspect, reaching a milestone of 1 million users worldwide.


In just 8 months, they surged their numbers, quadrupling growth by 400%, reaching a valuation of $2 billion. This remarkable achievement officially crowned them as a unicorn.


In October 2021, Notion secured $275 million in funding, propelling its valuation to $10 billion. With a user base of 20 million worldwide, Notion continued its impressive growth.


In early 2022, Notion introduced the Notion Certified Program, offering users an official accreditation for skill enhancement. Throughout the year, Notion expanded its user base, rolled out updates, and capped off the year by introducing AI to the platform.
Notably, 2022 marked a remarkable 240% growth for Notion, solidifying its position as the fastest-growing app of the year.


In 2023, Notion introduced Notion AI, revamped its template gallery, and unveiled new features. The official Notion community, with hundreds of creators, emerged for collaborative feedback on enhancing the community and template gallery.
Notion continues its dynamic evolution, promising ongoing updates for creators and users.

Notion-Mission & Vision

Notion strives to democratize Computer Science advancements, simplifying work for all users without coding. Their mission is “To make it possible for everyone to shape the tools that shape their lives” and their vision is “Foremost factor that pioneers the latest technological breakthroughs”.

Business & Revenue Model

Notion offers a collaborative workspace for work activities, providing management functions for teams. Revenue is generated through tiered pricing plans, including a Free Trial with a 1,000 blocks limit.
  • Personal: Free
  • Personal Pro: $4/month (billed annually) or $5/month
  • Team: $8/month (billed annually) or $10/month
  • Enterprise: Customized pricing based on specific needs

Notion-Funding & Investors

Notion achieved Unicorn status by securing $343.2 million across five funding rounds, with a significant investment in April 2020.
October 8, 2021
Series C
$275 Million
Sequoia Capital, Coatue, Shine Capital
April 2, 2020
Series B
$50 Million
Index Ventures, Assiya Capital Partners
July 19, 2019
Series A
$18.2 Million
A. Capital Ventures, Next Play Ventures, Josh Kopelman, Elad Gil, Aydin Senkut, Ram Shriram, Daniel Gross, and Lachy Groom
January 1, 2017
SV Angel, Sequoia Capital, First Round Capital, Felicis Ventures, Thibaud Elziere, Matt Maclnnis, Sherpalo, Elad Gil, Naval Ravikant, A.Capital Ventures, Draft Ventures, Third Kind Venture Capital, and Terrence Rohan
January 1, 2015
SV Angel

Notion’s Acquisitions

Notion has acquired four organizations to date, marking its first international acquisition in India in September 2021.
September 8, 2021
January 1, 2014
June 9, 2022
July 12, 2022

How Many Users Does Notion Have?

In 2019, Ivan Zhao, Notion's CEO, announced that the platform had reached 1 million users. As of today, the company has more than 30 million users and serves around 4 million paid customers.

How Big is Notion's Team?

The company expanded to a team of around 8 during the launch of version 2.0, and currently boasts a workforce of approximately 500 employees.
Statistics of Notion

Notion’s Growth

In 2013, co-founders Ivan Zhao and Simon Last launched Notion with just 4 employees. By 2015, a minimal investment and a sub-optimal tech stack led to constant crashes, causing a major setback. Struggling with limited funds, the company faced near demise.
Ivan and Simon, facing financial challenges, utilized borrowed funds, and tirelessly worked to revive their company. Notion's first version emerged in 2016. During the pandemic, they achieved Unicorn status in April 2020 with a $50 Million funding.
In just six years, Notion's remarkable journey led to a $10 Billion Market Valuation after securing $275 Million in October 2021.

Notion’s Competitors

Notion faces competition that excels in certain areas. Here are some key competitors of Notion:
  • Evernote
  • Trello
  • Quip
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Confluence
  • Slab
  • Tettra
  • ClickUp


Overall, Notion stands out as a versatile all-in-one workspace, winning over millions globally with its intuitive interface and customizable features. Ideal for personal productivity, project management, and team collaboration, it has become a go-to tool.
If you’re interested to elevate your workspace, get started with these Notion Templates!