Evernote just announced the launch of sponsored business accounts for organizations and businesses. These new account types will give schools, businesses and other organizations the option to pay for their members' and employees' accounts. As the company's CEO Phil Libin just told us during an interview at LeWeb in Paris, the majority of the tools' users (80%) are already using it both at home and at work. The sponsoring organizations won't be able to access their users' accounts, though. As Libin told us, while this is a business-focused feature, the company has no interest in launching a separate enterprise version of Evernote but its customers demanded this new feature.

Evernote will charge these sponsoring organizations the same fee as individual users pay today (though educational institutions and users will get the same 30% discount they are currently getting). Businesses and other sponsoring organizations can upgrade the accounts of existing users. once an employee leaves the company, Evernote will not delete any data but will offer the user to either pay for an account or downgrade to the free tier.

Libin stressed that Evernote does not want to be in the business software market. Instead, he wants Evernote to focus on its current straightforward business model ("I don't like clever business models," he told us today).

The State of Evernote

Libin also gave us a quick update on the state of Evernote. The company currently has around 150,000 paying users and expects to reach the 6 million user mark by the end of the year. About 18,000 new users sign up for the service every day, coming from both the mobile apps and the web and desktop services. The majority of its users are currently in the U.S. (57%), but Libin expects that this number will drop as Evernote acquires more users in Asia (especially Japan where NTT DoCoMo now preloads its Android phones with free access to the premium version of Evernote). Libin also expects to see a lot of growth in Latin America next year.

Talking about Evernote's freemium model, Libin told us that users don't convert well from the free to the premium accounts in their first few months on the service. Users really only convert after about 6 months of membership and today, 20% of Evernote's oldest users (more than 2 years of membership) are premium users.