Productivity app maker Evernote plans to expand its presence in Asia and is considering an IPO in the next few years, according to its CEO.
Evernote allows users to create and sync notes and to-do lists, including web pages, articles and audio clips. It has seen strong growth in Japan and South Korea as well as in emerging markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Evernote’s CEO, Phil Libin, said the company plans to increase the staff it has based in Asia, where 30 per cent of its 100 million users are located.
The California-based company already has a presence in Beijing, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo and is considering setting up an office in India. It also plans to enter Australia soon, according to the CEO.
One approach Evernote has taken to broaden its reach is to partner with mobile operators. To date it has worked with Deutsche Telekom in Europe, Telefonica (in Brazil and the UK), NTT Docomo, Orange, KT, Taiwan Mobile and Singapore’s Starhub.
These partnerships include initiatives such as free access to Evernote’s premium services for a certain period, or the app being pre-installed on devices provided by the operators.
Turning to the prospect of an IPO, Libin said the strategy is to have a series of primary and secondary rounds before the business is ready for a public offering in a couple of years.
He also revealed that the company has received inquiries about an acquisition in the past but aims to remain independent for the time being. However, he added that he would “never rule anything out”.
The company will generate profit in a few years, according to the executive, but the current focus is on growth and producing new tools that users find useful. Features being developed focus on collaboration, writing and reading, Libin hinted.
Around 70 per cent of revenue currently comes from customers who pay for the premium version of Evernote’s services, which costs $58 for a year. Around 15 per cent comes from services it provides to businesses, with the remainder coming from physical products featuring the Evernote brand.