Two years ago, Notion partnered with dozens of accelerators and incubators to provide free credits for its work collaboration platform to its portfolio startups. The firm is now aggressively making the program open to all startups.
Notion is launching a new startup program Tuesday to offer a credit of at least $500 to any startup globally to try its product for free — regardless of its size and funding status. Based on the size of the team, the credit could give startups access to Notion’s premium offerings at no cost for as long as a year — if not longer.
When Notion originally launched the program, it was attempting to “make sure that startups around the world adopt Notion,” said Akshay Kothari, chief operating officer of the startup, in an interview.
Things have changed dramatically for the work collaboration platform in the past two years. The startup, valued at $2 billion in its most recent financing round, has emerged as the productivity suite of choice for many startups (Figma, Substack, Modern Health, Mixpanel, Buffer and Headspace to name a few), developers, creatives, and designers among others.
The number of startups using Notion has surged 4x in the last year as businesses around the globe embraced remote working, it said. Over 50% of startups in Y Combinator’s recent batch have a Notion workspace, and 90 of Forbes’ Cloud 100 companies have a Notion team workspace, and about 28% of startups globally listed on Crunchbase that have raised over $1 million are also using the platform.
It’s become quite common to see even startup founders in India — a market Notion has admittedly not particularly focused a lot on — share their pitch decks created and stored on Notion to potential investors. Many are writing announcements on Notion, taking and sharing notes with their teams on Notion pages.
Kothari said as part of the new push, Notion is also developing new templates to remove friction from such use cases. Additionally, it’s also launching what it calls a startup starter pack, which will feature guides, tutorials, Livestream opportunities, customer stories, and frequently asked questions.
“Our goal is to get to a point where Notion becomes a tool that every startup in the world goes to without even having to think about it,” he said.
To reach that level of scale, Notion is also partnering with two infrastructure giants that are widely admired by startups: AWS and Stripe. The two firms will now provide Notion’s premium offerings — to a certain limit of credits — to hundreds of thousands of startups in their programs, Kothari said.
Just as significant AWS and Stripe have become to startups, “we think Notion can become the information infrastructure with them,” he said. “Now that we have launched this, we will continue to look at forming more partnerships.”
“Notion has been a boon for the Stripe Atlas Community, helping businesses of all sizes stay organized and aligned through all of their key milestones, and bringing employees closer than ever before,” said Krithika Muthukumar, Startups Business Lead at Stripe, in a statement. “We’re happy to bring Notion into the Atlas program and explore new ways we can support our community together.” (In a statement, AWS said its customers “rave” about Notion and it will explore more ways to strategically collaborate with Notion.)