Wrike Releases Freemium Version of its Social Project Collaboration Software

By Michael Carney , written on May 30, 2012

From The News Desk

Nearly five years after introducing its widely popular social project collaboration software, Wrike released its first ever freemium version today. The software utilizes a work graph approach to allow companies to organize and manage workflow across multiple locations, departments, and projects.

Although possibly less known outside of enterprise circles than some of their competitors, such as Salesforce’s Do and Asana, Wrike counts among its 1,800 global clients household names such as Accenture, Kraft, Hilton, Stanford, Ticktemaster, and Ebay. Many of these customers rely on Wrike to manage hundreds of thousands of tasks.

CEO Andrew Filev explained his reasoning for entering the freemium space saying,

We’ve had tremendous success with our paid-only application, which has emerged as one of the most widely used and most preferred project management apps on the market. This new freemium version offers much of the same advanced functionality—including a much broader set of features and greater accessibility than the paid plans of hundreds of other competing apps.
Wrike is taking a different approach to freemium than its competitors. The company is offering a near full-featured version of its social productivity app, rather than a watered down loss-leader.

Freemium users get access to “advanced scheduling, real-time discussion and collaboration in activity streams, selective project and task sharing capabilities with built-in access control for each user, and drag-and-drop prioritizing.”

The only features reserved for paid upgrades are Gantt charts (interactive timelines), workload management, Microsoft Outlook integration, and time tracking capability as well as additional backup capabilities and deeper hierarchical structures. For most customers, these are probably unnecessary luxury items. For those who need it, the price points for the paid version make for a rather painless upgrade.

Freemium accounts will get up to five power users, who can create, assign and change tasks, and an unlimited number of collaborators with the ability to access tasks, attach files, make comments and mark complete. Unlike most other free solutions available, Wrike offers unlimited projects. Also, unlike Basecamp or Sharpoint, Wrike gives users a single login to access all of their projects.

The freemium tool is aimed at creative and distributed teams. Previously, the company’s cheapest price point was $49 per month for a team of up to five. Paid plans range up to $199 per month for teams of up to fifty.

Wrike’s freemium and paid systems integrate with a range of office applications including email, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Excel and Project. Mobile apps for iPhone and iPad are available as well.

The company tested its freemium model in the Google Apps Marketplace and quickly reached the number one free app (it currently sits at number eight). During the short time it’s been offered for free download, the app generated free to paid conversion of more than 5 percent.

For reference, Filev says that Evernote reports customer upgrades occurring on average around the six month time horizon. With Wrike's freemium trial not yet reaching this point, the CEO expects final conversion figures to be higher than those recorded to date.

Wrike was launched in 2007 and is internally funded to date and is operating profitably. The team is approaching 50 employees growing quickly.

The decision not to raise outside financing is one that Filev acknowledges has slowed growth. However, he has steered his company into to a position of strength from which to attack broader markets and begin courting investors.

The company recently released a translation platform and quickly crowdsourced translations into Japanese, Portuguese, French, and Russian with as many as 20 more languages coming.

The CEO teased the introduction of “sexier, more consumer friendly features” and more mobile versions in the near future. The company is looking to reach as wide an audience as possible.

Today's freemium release is a prerequisite step in this process. As Filev says, “Wrike freemium makes it more accessible and affordable for teams of all sizes to reap the benefits of social project management.”