How does Evernote make money? The Evernote business model in a nutshell

  • Evernote is a note-taking, organizing, task management, and archiving app created by the EverNote Corporation. The company was founded in 2001 by Russian-American entrepreneur Stepan Pachikov to increase the capacity of human memory.
  • Evernote works on the freemium business model. This means users can try out the basic product for free and upgrade to the premium service if so desired. The company is adept at turning free customers into paying customers the longer each utilizes the platform.
  • Evernote has a simple revenue generation strategy, with three premium subscriptions for personal users, employees, and organizations.

Origin story

Evernote is a note-taking, organizing, task management, and archiving app created by the EverNote Corporation. The company was founded in 2001 by Russian-American entrepreneur Stepan Pachikov. 

Pachikov created Evernote to extend the human memory and make things easier to find, suggesting that the human memory was fragile and unreliable: “We all have hundreds of thousands of pieces of information, but it’s useless if we can’t find any of it. In business, the worst thing we can say is, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot your name.’”

The original EverNote incorporated the handwriting recognition technology that Apple underutilized in Newton, an early personal digital assistant first released in 1993. Launched for Windows in 2004, users could write notes the old-fashioned way and search for specific notes according to date, keyword, topic, location, or contacts.

Pachikov met Phil Libin in 2007, a man with strong business acumen whom he believed could take the company forward. Libin was subsequently appointed CEO and grew Evernote by steering the app away from desktops and toward the new frontier in smartphones. Four years later, Evernote boasted 11 million users as engineers worked tirelessly to ensure the app was ready as each new app marketplace was launched.

The company raised four successful rounds of funding between 2010 and 2014 with Evernote enjoying gradual, steady, and entirely organic growth. Flush with cash, the company then embarked on a series of disastrous product launches. One such product, Evernote Food, failed predominantly because it pre-dated the food-selfie era and was too similar to the core platform. Despite these setbacks, Evernote achieved unicorn status during this period in May 2012.

Today, Evernote remains the most popular app for life organization, note-taking, and project planning with over 225 million active global users. The platform has inspired the creation of many similar services, including Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep, Hive Notes, and Dropbox Paper.

Evernote revenue generation

Evernote works on the freemium business model. This means users can try out the basic product for free and upgrade to the premium service if they choose to do so.

The company has a proven track record of converting casual users into paying customers. While just 0.5% of new users purchase a premium service, this number increases to 7% after one year of use, 11% after two years, and 25% after four to five years.

With that said, let’s take a look at the premium offerings in more detail.

Premium subscriptions

For individuals and teams, there are three premium subscriptions to choose from:

  1. Personal ($7.99/month) – ideal for home and family use, the Personal subscription allows users to sync unlimited devices with 10 GB in monthly uploads.
  2. Professional ($9.99/month) – a plan more suited to workplaces with 20 GB monthly uploads and integration with Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, and others.
  3. Teams ($14.99/user/month) – an enterprise solution for an unlimited number of devices, centralized account administration, and a dedicated success manager for teams with 25 or more seats.

Main Free Guides:

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