News

Evernote Gets $50 Million in Funding, Plus an FAQ

Posted by Phil Libin on 13 Jul 2011

Posted by Phil Libin on 13 Jul 2011

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I’m really happy to announce that Evernote just completed another round of financing: $50 million led by Sequoia Capital with participation by Morgenthaler Ventures. Sequoia partner Roelof Botha, who was previously one of our board observers, has joined the Evernote board as a full member. I’m honored and humbled by our investors’ continued confidence in us! Of course, most of all, I’m thankful to our super enthusiastic users, who continue to make all this possible!

And now, here are the most Frequently Asked Questions I get about our funding:

Didn’t you just raise money?

Sort of. Our previous round was $20 million last October.

Isn’t Evernote profitable?

We’re happy to say that our business model has been working very well and we’ve managed to make money even while growing like crazy. In fact, we still have virtually all of the cash we raised in the last two rounds sitting in the bank.

So why do you need to raise more money?

Need is such a strong word. We don’t need to raise more money, but we’re always happy to take more if it opens up strategic options for us and helps us grow even faster. You know the saying that the best time to raise money is when you don’t really need it? Think of this as a test.

What are you going to spend it on?

Some of the money will go to long-term investors and shareholders. The rest we’ll spend on improving and expanding our products.

A couple of weeks ago, I counted up all the big new things we had released over the past month and it turned out that on average we we’re putting out something important every other day. On the one hand, that’s pretty great and I am in awe of our team for being able to keep that pace. On the other hand, what the hell? Is someone working half-days? There’s clearly room to at least double the speed, so much of the new funding will go toward growing the best product team in the world.

We might also buy a company or two to really boost growth.

With all this money you’ve raised, aren’t you worried about pricing yourself out of the acquisition market?

Well, that’s sort of the point. We don’t want to be acquired. We want Evernote to be the trusted second brain for all your lifetime memories, and the best way to do that is to build a big, strong, independent company. There has never been an exit strategy at Evernote. We don’t want to exit, we want to build a permanently great company. Our goal is for people to still love Evernote a hundred years from now.

Really?

Yup.

Why?

Remember that scene in The Social Network when Sean Parker says,

“A million dollars isn’t cool, you know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”?

Well, we don’t think a billion dollars is all that cool either. You know what’s really cool? Making a hundred year company.

That’s a pretty big deal; not many companies make it anywhere close, but we sort of signed up for the task when we started talking about earning your lifetime trust. You plan on living a long time, right?

So when we make any big decision, whether in fund-raising, or product design, or partnership strategy, we ask, “would this make it more or less likely that we’ll be around in a hundred years”, and if the answer is less we don’t do it. This financing is just one more solid step in building the hundred year company.

When is rich text editing coming out for Evernote for iOS?

Soon, I promise!

[Press release: EVERNOTE SECURES $50 MILLION ROUND LED BY SEQUOIA CAPITAL FOR EXPANSION AND ACQUISITION STRATEGY]

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38 Comments RSS

  • David

    Congrats. 100 year company? I love the idea. Keep up the great work.

  • KP

    “When is rich text editing coming out for Evernote for iOS?”

    LOL! I read about this funding someplace else and my first thought was, “If $50 million doesn’t buy rich text editing on iOS, I give up!” You know your customers well. :-)

    Also, how many million would it take to add a “check all” and “uncheck all” menu option on the Mac client, like Windows has?

    Congrats on the $$$, looking forward to seeing what growth it brings!

    • Phil Libin

      You mean for notes containing check boxes? We’re reworking all that.

  • Mark

    I like. Does Evernote have it’s company core values posted anywhere publicly?

    And question 2: Any chances of an updated Evernote app for webOS on the TouchPad with offline support? I’d love that.

  • Elihu Smails

    That’s really good news. Perhaps there can be more focus on a stable iOS app, and less clunkiness with the Mac app

  • Tejaswi

    Congratulations. One request though, Can you please make the iOS apps load faster? It takes around 10 seconds on a 3GS running 4.x and it’s annoying as hell.

  • Stacy

    Congratulations to everyone at Evernote. My wife and I use the service every day and we’ve told friends and family about it – Evernote is super useful to us.

  • Benjamin M. Strozykowski

    I will most definitely be keeping my memories in Evernote for 100 years to come. I don’t know how I would get along without it.

    Congratulations!

  • Jason Barone

    Congratulations!!!! You guys are awesome and the product gets better with every app release. Thanks for all the great work!

  • Luke H.

    This is such a great blog post! I love your philosophy and company!!!

  • Manuel

    You know what will really be cool ?? An $ 10/ year plan

  • Lance

    Surely $50M will be enough to fix the bullet and numbering issues. Right?

  • Ben

    Congratulations! I hope Evernote is around for at least as long as I’m still living otherwise I would not know what to do with all my notes and files!

  • Ryan Kessler

    Congrats on the funding, can’t wait to see where this will take the company. So happy and proud to be a user!

  • Karl

    Still waiting for the updated iPad app.

  • Sachin Rekhi

    Congrats guys! Love how you are thinking about building Evernote for the long run.

  • Simon Sherbourne

    I love everything about this post. :) You guys are just brilliant.

  • Sander

    Personally I think Evernote should try to get a more similar look on the different platforms its is serving. As a user of web/osx/ios/android I get a bit confused by having some options here but not there. Having different views everywhere. It would be great if releases of the platforms would be some how a bit more streamlined. So that my notes overview look similar everywhere….

  • Alan

    Fantastic post. You guys are my favourite company. <3

  • Kenneth

    It’s so refreshing to see a company actually excited about it’s product and it’s business and not just looking to cash out as soon as possible. I plan to try to hold you to that 100 year mark :)

  • David E Y Sarna

    Congratulation allo around.
    You need to plan for a 120-year life. At least. That’s the age that Moses lived, and is the proverbial “ripe old age.”
    In contrast, IBM is 100 already.
    On second thought. maybe Evernote needs to outlive Methuselah, who the Bible says lived to 969.

  • Lemuel

    I’m glad Evernote has the money it needs to make its great products, but I’m wondering getting more venture capital doesn’t increase the odds of a takeover. Eventually the venture capitalists will want their profit, which would come first from an IPO and then more so in a takeover.

  • Jim Drake

    Everything about Evernote makes me happy. I’ve used Evernote for a few years now, or close anyway, and finally needed to upgrade to premium as I wanted dos. The act of (finally) paying you made me really, really happy. From a guy that’s listened to every podcast…you deserve the good things that continue to happen to you.

  • Praveen

    Congratulations on the funding. I like the vision of “100 year company” and all the best to it. Evernote is a great app though i think you can revisit the User interface again.

    Good luck.

  • rob

    Congrats with this big ticket. Spread the wealth and keep improving. I suggest more congruency between the Windows and Mac clients would improve the overall user experience. Also more file handling options, like ability to copy pdf attachements straight from the note and paste them in an email.

    Premium4ever

  • jbenson2

    Evernote is a super product. I pay the annual premium as a way to thank the company.

    But a company surviving 100 years is very, very difficult.

    Consider this:
    How many American car companies have there been in the past 100 years?
    100?
    500?
    The answer is over 3,000!
    Think of that for a minute. There have been 3,000 different American car companies in the past 100 years and I bet you can’t name the 4th largest American car company right now!

    Here are just a few that bit the dust:
    American Motor Company, Auburn, Buick, Cord, Crosley, De Soto, Doble Steam Motors, Dodge, Duesenberg, Edsel, Franklin, Hudson, Kaiser-Frazer, Marmon Motor, Mercury, Nash, Oldsmobile, Packard, Peerless, Pierce-Arrow, Plymouth, Pontiac, Rambler, Standard Motor Company, Studebaker, Stutz, Tucker, Willys. The list goes on and on.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_automobile_manufacturers

  • dave

    great, now make a 200 year company please…

  • Trig

    Do you need any more engineers?

    • Phil Libin

      Yes! http://evernote.theresumator.com/apply

  • Esther Lim

    Just got introduced to EVERNOTE…can’t wait to get myself organized. How can an average mom like me invest in your company. I would love to buy one share at a time for my children.

    Sincerely,

    Esther Lim

  • JD Francis

    Congrats guys. I’m so on board with this. It’s one of the reasons I love Evernote so much. A lot of people are making money in Silicon Valley right now and creating the next big fad for 2011 or 2012. Good for them. I want companies building meaningful tools that transform the way we live and the world around us. If I could give you a billion dollars, I would. My brain can’t even fathom what Evernote could do with a check like that. World peace….maybe?

  • Jen

    Congrats Evernote~

  • Alex Humphrey

    First off, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!! That’s a big deal!

    Secondly, I am very impressed with your goal to be a 100-year company. In the internet world, those don’t often exist anymore. I greatly respect you for it and appreciate that the people who created the program I love so much will continue to pour themselves into it.

  • Odd Haas

    When rich text hits iOS you will get more money from me…
    How can we invest in evernote?

  • Todd

    I’m a big fan … I pay a subscription even though I don’t use all the space … Worth every penny. Best of luck to you and the team.

  • Sean

    Great blog post – love the vision of a hundred year company – truly meaningful and inspiring in an age of corporate vacuity (is that a word?? maybe not but you get my meaning) Thanks for all your efforts folks, keep innovating

  • Roy Strang

    $50/ yearly for premium with a recovery in the US’s economy w/in 10 generations; meanwhile stagflation and the dollar declining nearly worldwide, and groceries at never seen before pricing Evernote above iCloud technology rates and implementation Sequoia invested as wisely as prudently. Selling Charter Member Rates? We may not make it through the economic crisis, frankly — I want two things to count on Evernote can be #2.

  • Roy Strang

    FYI: I had to comment once in my life about something.