BOGOTA - Now boasting 150 million users worldwide, 15 million of them in Latin America, productivity app Evernote has seen rapid growth by offering smartphone users an easy-to-use and effective tool for uploading data and organizing and accessing it across various devices.
Honduran Luis Samra, who has headed private company Evernote's Latin America division since 2011, told EFE in Bogota that the art of Microsoft Word, the ubiquitous word-processing software, is that it makes "the complicated easy."
That was the same goal that California-based entrepreneurs Stephen Pachikov and Phil Libin had in mind in 2007 when they created Evernote, a cross-platform app that allows users to create, organize and archive "notes" in a variety of text, audio and video formats - including formatted text and Web pages - and sync the information across multiple devices.
Evernote today ranks as one of the five best productivity apps, according to online stores such as iTunes and Google Play.
The number of Evernote users in Colombia - the company's third-biggest market in the region after Brazil and Mexico and ahead of Chile and Argentina - has reached 1 million, and Samra traveled to Bogota to celebrate that milestone.
The app is available in all Latin American and Caribbean countries, including Cuba, which already has 1,000 registered users, according to Samra, who said most of them are likely European tourists or U.S. military personnel at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
"It's a lot of growth" that goes hand in hand with Latin Americans' ever-greater access to smartphones, including increasingly better low-cost models, Samra said.
He said that growth had forced Evernote to increase the number of employees at its headquarters in Redwood City, California, from 100 to 320, although the company now must "decelerate a little to balance our accounts."
The so-called "fremium" app allows users to upload 60 megabytes of data per month for free, while Plus subscribers have a higher limit and Premium customers enjoy unlimited monthly use.
The annual cost in Colombia for those premium services is 35,000 pesos and 70,000 pesos ($12 and $24), respectively.
Samra did not say how many Evernote users in Latin America were paid subscribers but noted that the company attracts 1 million new users each month, 50 percent of whom "disappear" in less than a year.
Among users who stay with the service, the percentage who become paid customers is 8 percent after two years and 24 percent in the third year.
Latin Americans especially appreciate the fact that they can use the app offline and that their megabyte tally is only affected if they upload and store new "notes," Samra said.
He added that they also liked the ease with which they can sort and find the items they have stored.