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.
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]