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, but our top goal was to remain independent.
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 with their users' data. That's why it is so important that we did not and will never give up any influence.
One month ago we have 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 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. As our user-base grows, we will be able to employ more and more developers. We are growing organically to make Tutanota a lasting success so that people have a secure alternative to mainstream email providers that harvest their users' data.
We want to thank our users for their amazing support. You truly are the heart of Tutanota!
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