Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Wunderlist To-Do App Checks Off $19M Raised From Sequoia

The company behind a to-do list app that has signed up six million people has now raised $19 million from one of the most respected venture capitalists in the business. If your worldview is the least bit jaded or skeptical, that’s a headscratcher.

WunderlistBut there’s a very good explanation for why the small company merits so much money, said the CEO and the VC. It’s because it matches a pattern of opportunity: Dropbox, Evernote and now Wunderlist.

6Wunderkinder, the Berlin-based maker of Wunderlist, has raised $19 million led by Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz, who personal led early investments in companies including Google, Yahoo and PayPal. (TechCrunch had previously reported some details of the investment.) The company has now raised a total of $30 million, with other investors including Atomico and Earlybird Ventures.

Sequoia has been a major backer of both Dropbox and Evernote, and now Wunderlist. All three are 1) productivity applications that 2) are cloud-based and work across multiple platforms, 3) have simple and accessible interfaces, 4) are free at the beginning and cost more for additional usage and features, and 5) are applicable for people’s personal and working lives, so they often become woven into both.

“We see the product as the third leg of the stool,” Moritz said in a phone interview. “Each solves a different need for consumers, but they share common traits.”

Wunderlist has six million registered users and 50,000 registered businesses (it does not disclose how many users are active, or what percentage of them pay for premium features). One strong vote of confidence for the product comes from its app store ratings: An unusually high 4.5 stars on both Android and iOS.

6Wunderkinder founder and CEO Christian Reber said the product can be used for a range of tasks, including writing a shopping list and managing projects and teams within a company.

“How to justify the large investment from Sequoia? I believe it’s very obvious that it can become something big,” Reber said. “I believe every business, every human being, every team is interested in becoming better organized. And there are not many products that work both in the personal life and the business life.”

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google