Evernote caught in "death spiral"

It hasn't been easy times for Evernote, the note taking app that's been around since 2004, with it previously coming close to running out of money and laying off a large chunk of its workforce. Techcrunch now says that things are looking particularly bad, two years after it started to right the ship:

Evernote lost several of its most senior executives, including its CTO Anirban Kundu, CFO Vincent Toolan, CPO Erik Wrobel and head of HR Michelle Wagner beyond the usual attrition of engineers and designers.

Losing so many C-level people in one month is a big red flag, but the company insists things are fine. It says it made $2.9 million from in-app purchases in the last three months, and was previously in the black, but didn't say if that was still the case. A source, however, for Techcrunch's story painted this worse than their PR:

“The company is in a death spiral. [...] Paid user growth and active users have been flat for the last six years and their enterprise product offering has not caught on.”

Evernote was always a strange unicorn in the world of high valuations. It was slow to monetize users, has an aging app, and in general, faces a huge amount of new competition in the note-taking space over the last few years with startups like Notion, Airtable, Slite and others building different spins, with deeper third-party integrations.

Hours after the news broke, the company slashed their subscription prices by half, which doesn't exactly speak volumes about how it's doing, especially considering there are reports floating around it's trying to raise money at a down round. 

Between Evernote, SoundCloud, and Automattic, another decade-old startup valued at a billion dollars, I'm wondering which company will hit a funding wall first. As the earliest startups are now a decade old, and many of them still struggling to justify their valuations, it's only a matter of time.

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