Secure Mail Provider Tutanota Reaches Break Even

One month ago we have published our first Premium features for our secure email service Tutanota. The number of users upgrading to Premium is growing continuously. This lets us cover our expenses so that we can continue developing Tutanota independently and with a clear focus on the privacy needs of our users.

Financing a privacy-focused startup can be tough as the sad example of Lavaboom has shown recently.

You need a vision to keep fighting

We have started building Tutanota almost four years ago. In the beginning we were financed by the German EXIST programme during which we had our offices at the renowned L3S Research Center at Hanover's Leibniz University. This was a great start for us because we were able to build the Tutanota prototype free from any commercial interest, purely with focusing on the privacy rights of today's email users. Being based at the University was also great for building up contacts with top cryptographers and IT specialists.

After the EXIST sponsorship ended, we moved our offices here in Hanover to the startup-hub "Halle 96". The office rent was sponsored by Startup Impuls so that we were able to keep the rent very low. We were also able to secure a long-running loan from MBG and Hannover Beteiligungsfond over 1 Million Euro without giving up any shares. It was not easy to find investors without giving up shares and influence to them.

But our vision of a secure email service with a clear focus on the privacy rights of our users simply did not allow us to give up any influence. We want to fight so that all of us are able to use the internet without being spied on - not by governments, but also not by companies that want to make money of their users' data. That's why it is so important that we don't give up any influence.

Our next goal: improve Tutanota much faster

In the beginning of 2014 we published an Outlook plugin that lets businesses secure their confidential communication to any recipient with one click only. This plugin is mainly used by lawyers and medium sized financial institutions. It is the perfect tool for companies that do not want to give up on Outlook. The plugin can encrypt any email automatically. This allows companies to keep their own mail server as well as their usual work-flow and, at the same time, lets them securely share important information easily.

One month ago we have also published Tutanota Premium, which allows users to upgrade and pay for their secure email service Tutanota. The uptake of our first Premium release was simply amazing. A lot of our users upgraded solely to support us and our fight for privacy. Premium also allows people to use their own domain with Tutanota so that more and more small businesses are switching over to Tutanota.

We are using the income from our first Premium release to buy additional server space to allow Tutanota to grow in-line with our quickly growing user base.

We are very happy that the sales of Tutanota Premium and the Outlook plugin let us cover our expenses. Nevertheless, many more people need to use Tutanota. We are keeping our costs very low, focusing on development and customer support. We would like to expand much faster by employing more developers, but also by investing in marketing and sales. We want Tutanota to become a lasting success so that people have a secure alternative to mainstream email providers that can read all their users' emails.

We want to thank our users for their amazing support. You truly are the heart of Tutanota!

Free your data from mass spying!

and get your encrypted mailbox for free now.

Hanna makes Tutanota come to life. Her credo: Every one of us has the right to express any idea freely, or to keep it secret. Encryption is a great tool to achieve the latter.

Posted on: 2015-08-25