- The $1.5 billion startup Asana is eyeing its next phase of growth and is introducing a slew of new features to make its platform into a “navigation system” for organizations.
- Asana confidentially filed an S-1 with the SEC in February and plans to go public via a direct listing later this year, though Facebook cofounder and company CEO Dustin Moskovitz declined to share any details on timing.
- The new planned features include a virtual meeting assistant, automation to organize tasks, and a workflow store so users can share templates for work processes with others.
- It’s also launching a new feature called Goals now that connects people’s tasks to larger company missions.
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Asana’s number one goal has always been to eliminate what it calls the “work about work.” The productivity startup has spent the 12 years building a platform for businesses that lets employees track their own work and get clarity about what their colleagues are working on. Now, it’s planning to launch a slew of new features like automation for mundane tasks and new goal setting tools to take its mission a step further to become a full “navigation system” for organizations.
This plan comes as the startup, founded by Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz, plans to go public via a direct listing later this year. Asana, which has raised $213.5 million and is valued at $1.5 billion, confidentially filed an S-1 with the SEC in February, though CEO Moskovitz declined to share any details on timing. Bloomberg reports that debut is expected in the second half of the year.
“Our future vision is to really become a navigation system for organizations,” Moskovitz told Business Insider. “We want to help them find the very best paths to achieve their goals and give their teams and leaders the most up to date information about what’s currently happening in the road ahead.”
Asana had 75,000 paying customers as of last year, but Moskovitz says there is tremendous potential to grow both the customer base and the types of tools Asana can offer.
What new features to expect from Asana in the next year
To become a so-called “navigation system,” Asana will add a feature called Huddle, that will allow a virtual assistant to schedule a meeting, create an agenda, automatically transcribe the meeting, and turn it into tasks. It also plans to release features that can automatically prioritize a worker’s tasks for the day and sync it with their calendar.
“It plays on top of the base of the automation system we’ve already built,” Asana’s chief product office Alex Hood told Business Insider. In 2019, Asana launched automated tools to allow users to set parameters for assigning and reassigning tasks and sharing them with specific people, to cut down on the manual processes required to keep Asana updated.
Asana also plans to create a workflow store, where organizations, third-party developers, and Asana itself can share templates for others to download and use, allowing its customers to help each other work more efficiently. There will be free and paid templates. Asana doesn’t currently have a release date for these new features but is actively working on them.
One feature which is actually available now is called Goals. Goals can be created for entire companies or specific teams, and then each employees individual goals are connected to those big picture aims. The idea is that connecting employees’ tasks to the larger company goals will help them feel more connected to their company, Hood said.
For example, a COO can set a goal of winning customer loyalty, and then her direct reports can create specific tasks and actions to meet that goal — like sharing 20 customer case studies within the next three months — and assign those tasks to specific people. That way someone working on the marketing team who is assigned one of those customer case studies can clearly see how their work fits into the larger company goals.
Companies typically start using Asana within one team like product marketing. While its been getting more widespread adoption across organizations, Hood believes these new features will accelerate Asana’s widespread use across different parts of a company. Typically companies start using the tools within one team, but Asana wants to become the central hub for where a company tracks its progress.
With remote work being the norm for the foreseeable future for many businesses, Moskovitz said he thinks having a tool to manage work within a company is becoming even more essential than before.
“Having a place where you can get clarity on the plan is just really essential, but as soon as they’re actually in a different time zone, different building, it’s just a total business imperative,” Moskovitz said. “So that was true before and this really accelerated things.”
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