Fresh from its $70m funding round last week, note-taking service Evernote is looking to expand its handwriting recognition capabilities with the announcement today that it has acquired San Francisco-based startup Cocoa Box Design‘s popular handwriting app for the iPad, Penultimate.

More that simply bringing the app into the Evernote stable, the deal will see Penultimate (blessed with the accolade of 4th most downloaded iPad app of all time back in March this year) developed for a wider range of platforms and devices. Evernote also plans to use the acquisition of the app, developed by San Francisco-based Cocoa Box, to bring improved handwriting recognition to the Evernote service itself.

Evernote can already recognize handwritten text in scanned documents, while the company also licenses this technology to third parties via its Ritescript division. Today’s acquisition opens up the possibility of allowing you to write with your finger or a stylus directly into Evernote apps in the future. Penultimate already supports the saving of notes into your Evernote account.

The terms of the acquisition haven’t been disclosed, but Cocoa Box Design founder Ben Zotto will be joining Evernote to continue work on Penultimate. We’re awaiting confirmation that Cocoa Box will be shuttered as part of the deal. Approaching the 30 million user mark, things are looking good for Evernote. In addition to last week’s announcement of a $70 million Series D investment led by Meritech Capital and CBC Capital, it is targeting growth in Asia with plans for a new data center in China.

penultimate Evernote acquires iPad app Penultimate to boost its handwriting recognition capabilities penultimate2 Evernote acquires iPad app Penultimate to boost its handwriting recognition capabilities