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This article was published on August 22, 2013

Evernote signs its first operator deal in Southeast Asia as it seeks to deepen its Asia reach

Evernote signs its first operator deal in Southeast Asia as it seeks to deepen its Asia reach Image by: Getty Images
Kaylene Hong
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Kaylene Hong

Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.

With 70 percent of its users outside of the United States, it is little wonder that Evernote is keen to project its appeal to more growing markets — with emerging markets in Asia a key focus.

To mark its commitment to the region, Evernote today announced (and later blogged about) its first-ever partnership in Southeast Asia in Singapore — where Evernote says it has the highest per-capita market penetration. Of Evernote’s existing 66 million users worldwide, more than 400,000 are based in Singapore. It is therefore partnering local telecom operator Starhub to offer a one-year Premium subscription for free to its 1.1 million post-paid mobile customers.

The only other formal partnerships it has in Asia are in Japan with NTT Docomo, Taiwan with Taiwan Mobile and Apple premium reseller Studio A, as well as South Korea with Kakao Talk.

Evernote also launched Yinxiang Biji, a dedicated service for China, in May last year. Its open APIs have also seen Evernote linked with Tencent-owned messaging service WeChat — basically WeChat users can choose to export their conversations into Evernote.

In Evernote’s annual developer competition, none of the six finalists came from the US, but half were from the Asia-Pacific region.

Evernote’s Chief Operating Officer Ken Gullicksen notes that the company has been unprofitable due to its expansion plans and investments in other products starting from 2011.

“Profitability is a choice,” he says, explaining that in theory, Evernote could turn in profit within a few months if it slows down its investments.

Headline image via Thinkstock