Evernote defers “eventual” IPO, raises $85 million in funding


Evernote CEO Phil Libin announced in a blog post today that the popular productivity app, which allows users to sync and collect documents and notes, has raised $85 million in financing. The new round was led by London-based AGC Equity Partners/m8 Capital, with participation from Valiant Capital Partners and previous investors. Libin said that 75 percent of the investment is a secondary investment, meaning it’s stock sold by existing investors, and the purpose of the fundraising is to “reduce the pressure to exit” and raise funding while moving toward an “eventual IPO.”

Libin explained the company’s strategy behind the fundraising and growth in a blog post on Friday:

As we’ve talked about in the past, there is no exit strategy at Evernote. Our goal is to build a permanently meaningful and enduring company; a hundred year startup. In order to accomplish this, we have to separate liquidity from exit. This latest round is another step on this journey. By giving early shareholders the opportunity to sell some of their holdings, we reduce the pressure to exit while at the same time forging relationships with important new long-term investors who can help shepherd the company to, through, and beyond an eventual IPO.

The additional funds brought in from the primary portion of this round will make sure that Evernote can continue to focus all of our energy on building the best possible products, without being distracted by external market conditions. It’s nice to have this extra peace of mind, even if we don’t strictly need it.

The company recently raised a $70 million funding round in May 2012, at which point it had about 25 million users. The company has worked to court businesses recently, and integrate with apps building on Evernote through an expanded developer program. Om Malik wrote about Libin’s “six year plan,” with specific goals outlined for each year. In 2012, the goal was getting users to engage more with Evernote, and next year’s goal is turning them into paying customers and increasing profits.

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