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LeWeb 2011: Evernote hits 20 million users

by Doug Drinkwater

December 8 2011

Phil Libin believes Evernote will return to profit in early 2012
Phil Libin believes Evernote will return to profit in early 2012

Paris, France -- Phil Libin says that Evernote now has 20 million users, with an increasing number of these now willing to pay for the note-taking service.

Evernote CEO Libin was speaking at LeWeb conference in Paris, France today where he first showed some interesting graphs on the rise of the company, since its launch in the summer of 2008.

The first graph looked at how many users return to the platform for the first time, and demonstrated that Evernote users are increasingly staying the course for the long haul.

In the first month after sign-up, 45% of people are return users, but that drops to around 22% after 17 months. However, the graph illustrated that this figure bounced back up to 43% after 42 months, with Libin suggesting that people come back having 'kind of missed' Evernote.

Libin was keen to stress that Evernote is based on the 'freemium' model, but said that consumers are increasingly willing to pay for the service.

"In the first month of using Evernote, only a half of one percent pay us,” said Libin. “It goes up every month after that. The longer you use it, the more likely you are to pay. If you never ask people to pay, but give them time to fall in love, they want to pay."

Libin let slip that Evernote has around 750,000 paid users, and at a price of $5 a month or $45 a year, that would equate to a revenue a little above $30 million. The Evernote CEO said that the company hit profitability six months ago, and revealed that the firm recently attracted a new round of funding from Sequoia Capital.

Despite this good news, Libin admitted that the company is now ‘back in the red’ having tripled its workforce from 40 to 120 people in the last year, but expects the company to return to profitability over the next two months.

Libin then demonstrated Evernote’s two latest applications, both of which are currently available for the iPhone. Evernote Food is for logging your favorite food with pictures and related tags, while Evernote Hello appears to be a more visual way of keeping up to date with people you have recently met.

“Our goal is to re-imagine what it means to be a tool for the modern worker," said the Evernote CEO. "The standard software tools have been set for 30 years and it’s time for a refresh. If you have five minutes, and you want to accomplish something, that is Evernote.”

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