August 31, 2014 Update: Thank you for your support!! Our crowdfunding campaign has succeeded, raising over $500,000! If you missed the campaign and would still like to support ProtonMail, you can still do so here.
Since ProtonMail beta first launched 1 month ago, our team has been in a constant battle to support more users. The public response was not something that we could have ever anticipated. In the past month, we have tripled our capacity, but it has not been enough to make headway against the constant stream of users joining our waiting list.
While this response from the community has stretched our resources to the limits, we are very happy to see it happening (despite all getting much less sleep than before). Today we know that online privacy is NOT dead, and that there are millions around the world willing to stand up and take back their privacy.
What we would like to do today, more than anything, is be able to support all the users on our waiting list. Unfortunately, this requires a large upfront capital investment in servers. For maximum security and privacy, we own, run, and operate our own hardware within secured datacenters in Switzerland. This means to increase the number of users we can support, we need to purchase and install new servers which can run at upwards of 5000 CHF (Swiss Francs) per server.
ProtonMail will eventually become self sustaining through offering premium accounts to complement our free accounts. These premium accounts will have more features and additional storage space, and will launch when ProtonMail is out of beta. However, that is still some number of months from now and we want to try to support everybody today. We hope through our crowdfunding campaign, we can hit our $100,000 target which will allow us to support everybody on our waiting list.
Our bigger vision is to remain independent so we can always put privacy first. Raising money through the community is the best way to accomplish that. Nobody has ever built a technology company through crowdfunding, but with your support, we hope to make history and be the first to do it by raising $1,000,000. This way, ProtonMail can remain a project that exists solely for the community, and derives a lot of its funding and support from the community.
We hope you will join us today in the fight to bring back online privacy!