Multimedia Note Taking Service Evernote Raises $20 Million

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Multimedia note-taking service Evernote has raised $20 million in a third round led by new backer Sequoia Capital. With Evernote, users can “clip” a range of files — including handwritten text, parts of web pages, and audio files — and store them online. Files can later be searched and shared from the web or a mobile phone. A basic version is free, while a $5 a month version comes with additional features. The company now claims 4.7 million users, up from 2 million a year ago when it last raised funding.

CEO Phil Libin tells us that the new cash will be used in part to expand the product beyond the consumer market. “We get tons of requests inside of schools, inside of businesses, inside of specific verticals,” he says. “We haven’t done any of that. We’ve been one general purpose product.” He says that about 80 percent of Evernote’s customers use it both for work and for personal purposes, so the company already knows it’s useful in the workplace. “The goal is to make it indispensable at a place of work,” he says.

Libin says that about 2.5 percent of Evernote’s users currently pay for the premium version of the product but that the percentage goes up the longer customers use it. More than 20 percent of the company’s earliest users, for instance, pay for the premium version. When the company raised $2 million in a round of funding last September, it said it would use some of that money to launch localized versions of its software, and it’s now available in 14 languages. Libin says it has gained particular traction in Japan, which now accounts for 18 percent of its total users.

The new funding brings Evernote’s total backing to $43 million. In addition to Sequoia Capital, existing backers, including Morgenthaler Ventures and DOCOMO Capital, also participated in this round.

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