Evernote grabs $50M to be everyone’s “second brain”

Evernote, the popular cloud-based note-taking application, has pulled in $50 million in new funding led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Morgenthaler Ventures. The new investment, which comes after a $20 million series C round last year October, will be used for aggressive growth and acquisitions as the company expands its offerings.

The new money is another sign of increasing momentum for the popular service, which is now up to 11 million users. We reported that Evernote had just reached the 10 million-member mark a month ago after taking almost 1,000 days to reach the 5 million milestone. The company is racking up users on its way toward its goal of getting 1 million paid members. It’s unclear how many premium members it has now but Evernote said last month that it has 400,000 paying subscribers.

It’s unclear how much money Evernote really needs. It said last year that when it raised its last round, it still had $9 million from the $11 million it previously raised. It’s unlikely that it’s burned through all that cash already. So what’s it all being used for?

CEO Phil Libin has talked of wanting to build a 100-year company and he seems to be gearing up for a long growth phase that will span smartphones, tablets and computers.

“The fast pace of our organic growth, adding more than a million users in just the past month, shows that people really want to manage and simplify their lives,” said Libin in a statement. “And even though we’ve built a profitable and successful business in the past three years, we still have a long way to go to achieve our goal of becoming everyone’s second brain. Having this new investment, and Sequoia Capital as a full business partner, will allow us to improve and multiply our products in exciting ways.”

Sequoia’s Roelof Botha of Sequoia Capital will now take a full member seat on Evernote’s Board of Directors after serving as an observer. Evernote has also hired away Morgenthaler partner Ken Gullicksen, a previous Evernote board member, to lead its corporate development and acquisition strategy.