Quora has raised $85 million in a bid to fuel its international expansion. The announcement came from CEO and Founder Adam D’Angelo, in an exclusive interview with the Venturebeat. Investors in this round included Sam Altman, on behalf of Y Combinator Continuity and Collaborative Fund. A slew of earlier investors including Tiger Global, Matrix Partners, and Dustin Moskovitz also participated.
D’Angelo was earlier the Chief Technology Officer at Facebook. However, he decided to leave the company later in favor of starting is own thing, His own thing took the form of Quora, a question and answer platform that sought to use the power of the community to generate answers to all sorts of regular and out of the ordinary questions. The platform had a slow start but is now booming. The number of users has almost doubled since last year and Quora now counts almost 190 million unique monthly visitors.
One of the things I personally love about Quora’s growth, is how they have scaled up in a very phased manner. The company has kept its focus on the quality of content on its platform rather than the quantity. I started using Quora pretty recently and I was really surprised by the quality of answers. I mean sure, not all of them answered the question but in the vast majority of cases, the user had tried to conform to the question. The answers are relevant and while spiked by the user’s personal experiences, they make for good reading.
And that is the point. While many have drawn analogies between Wikipedia and Quora, both are fundamentally different. Wikipedia deals with facts while Quora, places a whole lot of credence on user’s personal experiences and analysis. Which is not saying that it compromises on quality. The upvoting system means that yo can usually find the best answers near the top without having to sift through mountains of answers.
As far as the fundraise is concerned, the latest round of funding takes the company’s total valuation to approximately $235 million. This is a testament to faith in the company from its backers, which include Benchmark Capital, Peter Thiel, and Y Combinator. The company’s valulation has reportedly doubled since its last fundraise, when it stood at $900 Billion.
Meanwhile, the new influx of money will be used to grow internationally and improve the quality of the platform. The company recently added French and Spanish languages to the platform and plans to add others as well. On the topic of ads, profitability and IPO, D’Angelo merely said:
Our goal is to be a long-term, independent company,.We expect that we will go public at some point. I think ads is a very good way to be a sustainable business and become cashflow positive. And it’s very compatible with our mission to provide a free service to everyone in the world.