NEW YORK, Aug 10, 2021 /PRNewsire/ — Saturn, a community-centric social platform built around the calendar, announced today it has raised more than $44 million in funding from General Catalyst, Insight Partners, and Coatue.
Additional investors included Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos), Marc Benioff (CEO and founder of Salesforce), Dara Khosrowshahi (CEO of Uber), Dick Costolo and Adam Bain's 01 Advisors (former CEO and COO of Twitter), Mike Vernal (Partner at Sequoia Capital), Robert Downey Jr., Inspired Capital, WndrCo, Elad Gil, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures, SV Angel, Jerry Murdock (co-founder of Insight Partners), Hadi Partovi, Neo (Ali Partovi's Venture Fund), Dylan Field (CEO and co-founder of Figma), and TQ Ventures.
Founded in 2019 by Dylan Diamond and Max Baron during their sophomore year at the University of Pennsylvania, Saturn is the fastest way to manage and share your schedule with friends. Layering messaging and other social features for groups, clubs, and teams, on top of a calendaring utility that users rely on multiple times a day, the app has seen explosive growth in hundreds of U.S. high schools to date and is preparing to expand nationally this fall.
"To build a product that truly resonates with this generation, you have to start with proximity to the demographic. That is one of our biggest advantages. We've taken the utility of schedule sharing and have leveraged that foundation and adapted it to be a truly social-first product built around a single-player utility that drives actual value. That utility comes in the form of a calendaring experience that is far better than anything else available for high schoolers today," said Diamond, Saturn CEO and a 2020 Thiel Fellow. "Looking ahead, we are reinventing the way that people make plans with friends and building a next-generation calendar around communities. This past year, we transitioned from a utility to a full-fledged social product built around the events and people you actually care about."
Diamond was actively serving as Tesla's youngest full-time employee while studying Computer Science and Management as a sophomore in the Jerome T. Fisher program for Management & Technology at the University of Pennsylvania. At Tesla, he was a software engineer on the company's Supercharger Analytics team. Before Tesla, he built a best-selling paid education app that was at the top of Apple's most downloaded list in the Apple AppStore for several years. Baron worked in marketing and strategy for companies including Beats by Dre and T-Mobile beginning in high school and was leading youth marketing for Havas full-time during his sophomore year at the Wharton School, studying Operations and Management. The pair left the University in 2019 to pursue Saturn on a full-time basis and were named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2020.
Saturn is replacing bulletin boards, flyers, screenshots of school schedules, and antiquated communication systems with a sleek and streamlined omni-platform solution across mobile and web that better serves the needs of today's teens.
"To maintain proximity to this audience, we've invested heavily in building out a large and growing network of ambassadors that provides a continuous feedback loop not only on our product, but on what resonates with Gen Z. Their insights and feedback are at the heart of the decisions we make and every feature we ship," added Baron. "Having seen considerable growth in engagement and retention last year, we are excited to welcome thousands of new communities to Saturn in the near future."
More than half of the company's users are active daily, and students from thousands of schools have requested the product. Saturn has partnered with Snap and counts founding members of its product, design, engineering, and recruiting teams as active advisors.
"It's clear from the retention and engagement on Saturn that this product is resonating with the demo, and that starts with the team. With Gen Z founders, it is no surprise they are better at understanding and empathizing with the needs of today's high school students, and that has us very excited about new features and expansion in the immediate future," said investor Jerry Murdock.
Uber CEO and Saturn investor Dara Khosrowshahi added: "Saturn is helping young people plan their chaotic lives far more effectively with those who matter most. That planning piece is a universal problem that I see with my children and peers alike. For potential partners, the ability to engage directly with individuals' calendars would profoundly enhance the sorts of experiences that can be created and offered to better serve consumers."
"We are grateful for the support of these exceptional funds and angels – and to have brought this group together in support of our vision and team," said Diamond. "We are now very well positioned to put Saturn in millions of hands this fall as we expand nationally."
Saturn will use the funding to grow its engineering and product teams, and to fuel expansion. The company is based in New York and is actively recruiting.
Saturn is a New York-based community-centric social platform built around events, groups, and the calendar – currently rolling out in U.S. high schools. It is the fastest way to manage and share your schedule with friends. To learn more about the company, visit joinsaturn.com.