The History of Doodle
It’s hard to believe, but 2022 marks 15 years of Doodle. In that time, we’ve helped millions of people find the perfect time to connect. With the new Doodle, we hope to facilitate millions more of you finding your perfect when.
But where did it all start? How did we get here? And where are we going? Let's find out.
Doodle was founded in 2007 by Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç, students from ETH Zürich. They wanted to find a way to meet with people that didn’t take rounds and rounds of back and forth emails.
The early Doodle was a success - especially in universities - and was quickly turned into a business by Michael and Paul. In March of the following year, Doodle was incorporated as Doodle AG in Switzerland and the first round of financing was secured.
In June 2009, Doodle launched its first premium service. It was also this year that calendar integrations were offered for the first time. It was thanks to this that calendar view, in-app, launched in 2010.
A little over three years after it was founded, Doodle was a thriving start-up with over 10 employees. It was serving over six million users and had already started to break even - an incredible achievement for such a new company. This is where things started to take off.
When Doodle met TX
In 2011, Doodle entered a new era. The company now had over 10 million users and was looking to expand further. As well as a complete redesign of both the desktop and mobile versions of the product, MeetMe, a personal scheduling profile, was launched.
It was at this time TX Group (then called Tamedia) took a minority stake in the company.
The following year, Doodle boosted its advertising strategy to reach more people worldwide. This continued into 2013 when Doodle was launched on Android - completing mobile optimization for all smartphones and tablets.
2014 was a big year for Doodle. It was reaching 20 million users every month and started offering its scheduling service in more languages than ever before. It was also this year that founders, Michael and Paul, handed over the reigns of the company to Michael Brecht, who became CEO.
Tamedia also acquired the majority of Doodle and helped it further expand its user base worldwide.
By 2015, Doodle’s user base was continuing to grow. It opened its first office outside of Switzerland in Berlin, Germany. It also majorly updated its iPhone and Android apps and created a new mobile website.
In June 2016, Doodle was reaching more than 180 million unique users in 175 different countries. It acquired Meekan, a chatbot company, based in Israel. In August of this year, Michael Brecht left Doodle. Gabriele Ottino replaced him with a new vision of taking Doodle into the future.
With Meekan and a new CEO on board, Doodle went through a redesign in 2017. The poll creation tool was upgraded. By this point, 28 million people were using Doodle every month.
The start of the new Doodle
2019 saw some big changes at Doodle. As well as the much-loved group polls, Bookable Calendar and 1:1s were launched. Doodle was on the path to being a tool professionals could use to make their day more efficient. For starters, these two tools made it easier than ever to get people together without endlessly going back and forth. It was also this year that Renato Profico took over as CEO.
Doodle’s expansion also grew Stateside with offices in New York and Atlanta joining existing offices in Berlin, Belgrade and Zürich.
2020 saw the world change. The coronavirus pandemic affected how everyone worked. At Doodle, enabling users to continue with their day-to-day, no matter where they were, became a key priority. That started with a Zoom integration - meaning people could use Doodle to connect remotely or in-person for the first time.
Custom Questions were also added to Bookable Calendar to make it easier to prep for a meeting. This was crucial to ensure people could manage their time efficiently when working from home (as more people than ever did in 2020/21).
In 2021, Doodle took a big step toward the future. A Microsoft Teams integration joined Zoom to expand virtual meeting options. As lockdowns continued through the year, this was crucial to ensuring people could still find time to get together with those they needed to.
From July, all Professional customers were given access to the new Booking Page. This redesign of Bookable Calendar boosted the professional scheduling experience offered by Doodle.
It was also this year that Doodle started working on what it would look like in the future. With the help of an external agency, work began on a rebrand that would establish Doodle as the professional scheduling tool everyone wanted.
Early 2022, saw the launch of the Webex integration. This meant that Doodle now connected with some of the biggest video conferencing tools in the world. In February, free users joined those on Professional plans in gaining access to Booking Page. A number of changes to the user dashboard also made Doodle faster and easier to use.
It starts with when
March 28 saw the new Doodle website go live in five languages. The new tagline, ‘It starts with when’, became key to this launch. As well as a more mature, yet friendly tone to doodle.com, a human feel was added - reflecting users back at themselves.
Although colors and typography changed, Doodle’s core values remained. In fact, the new tagline emphasized exactly that: Great things happen when we come together and it starts with when.
What’s next? The simple answer is that Doodle’s journey is far from over. In 2022, a number of new feature releases are already planned, as well as growth and expansion to continually improve all user’s scheduling solutions.
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