Evernote hits 10m users as premium membership takes off

After taking 992 days to reach 5 million members, Evernote said today it has now hit 10 million members just 208 days later. It has also eclipsed 400,000 premium members, putting the company well on its way toward its goal of 1 million paid users.
Evernote hit 5 million users on Nov. 10 last year and was up to 6 million users by the first of the year. It’s since grown by 67 percent in a little over five months to 10 million users with the last million signing up in 32 days. It had 3.6 million unique visitors in the last 30 days, up 70 percent since the beginning of the year. And perhaps most impressive is Evernote’s paid conversion growth. Premium users have more than doubled from 201,308 on Jan. 1 to 424,736 now, a 111-percent jump.
“Ten million users seemed like an inconceivable number when we were getting ready to launch the service into open beta less than three years ago. Well, it wasn’t literally inconceivable; we actually put it on business plans and investor pitch decks and everything. Yup. 10,000,000 users in three years. That what we told people. We had really pretty graphs showing the projections. Reality is much more impressive than projections,” wrote CEO Phil Libin in a blog post.

The latest news caps off a wave of activity this year by Evernote, which has been working to improve its products across different platforms. In March, it launched Evernote 4, a new version of the app on the iPhone (s AAPL) with better tools for accessing and organizing notes. It followed up later that month with a more robust web-based app that showed how Evernote was making the web a priority. More recently, Evernote provided new updates for Android (s GOOG), Windows (s MSFT) and Mac with better sharing, editing and security features. Evernote said three quarters of its members access the service from two or more platforms.
The company is showing it’s not sitting still after taking in $20 million in Series C funding in October. At the time, the company said it still had $9 million of the $11 million it previously raised, but was taking on more funding to help it achieve its goal of hitting 1 million paying customers. Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, said last year that Evernote was converting about 2 percent of its customers to its paid service. By January, it was up to 3.3 percent and now, it’s up to 4.2 percent.
The company still needs to more add many more users if it wants to hit its premium user goal. But with sign-ups accelerating, it might not be that far off. We’ve been fans of the service for some time because of its simple way of helping you wade through notes and memories. And it has been a great example of how a freemium service can thrive with the right balance between paid and free services. Things are getting more interesting now that Apple just included a reminder service in iOS 5 for note taking and shopping lists. But with Evernote’s fast growth, it’ll take more than that to derail its momentum.