Wrike Releases A Free Version Of Its Project Management App

Wrike is hoping to expand its audience today with the launch of a free version of its project management tool.

Wrike says it already has 2,000 customers including Accenture, Stanford, and Ticketmaster, but until now, the cheapest pricing level was $49 per month. Even though releasing a free version is an obvious way to get more people to try the product, CEO Andrew Filev says he approached the “freemium” model cautiously, to ensure that Wrike didn’t end up “cannibalizing” any of its sales. So it started out by testing a free version via the Google Apps Marketplace, and the model seemed to be working, with 5 percent of free customers converting to paid in a short period of time. So now it’s making a bigger splash by launching a free version on the Wrike website.

The biggest draw? Probably the fact that even if they don’t pay, Wrike users can have an unlimited amount of collaborators, who can access tasks, attach files, and mark tasks complete. (The ability to create and assign tasks is limited to power users, and you get “only” five of those in the free version.) Filev says that’s part of Wrike’s philosophy, because tasks are most useful when you can share them with a large team, even outside a business context. For example, he says that a church might have only a small number of managers, but they might need to coordinate hundreds of volunteers.

What you won’t find in the free version are what Wrike is calling its premium features, such as Gantt Charts, time-tracking, and a drag-and-drop interface for moving project milestones. Filev says he asked, “What are the pieces missing from our competitors? Let’s put those in our paid version.”

Wrike is also announcing a new translation platform that allows its users to translate its UI text into any language. And it’s offering a sneak peek at an alpha version of a new email plugin for viewing Wrike tasks within Apple’s Mail app — you can watch the demo video below.