Human powered search raising cash

Chris Caceres · January 26, 2009 · Short URL:

ChaCha, search engine secures $11 million of total $30 million in Series C funding

 ChaCha, a human powered search engine, has secured $11 million out of a $30 million Series C round according to a regulatory filing reported by peHUB yesterday. The investors have not yet been listed.

(Watch ChaCha's founder Scott Jones in the embedded video talk about his search technology. Keep in mind, the video was created in Jan 2007.)

ChaCha launched its mobile answers text service in January of 2008.  What ChaCha offers is real human responses to questions asked via text messages.  The site explains you can ask questions like, "Where is a great Italian restaurant in Manhattan?" and actually get a non-computer, human generated response.  

ChaCha's business model follows an SMS advertising model similar to 4Info, which also has raised some cash this year- $20 million.  Both companies deliver targeted advertising to its users via the SMS answers delivered back on their phones from their service.  

In fall of 2008, ChaCha announced that it had more than a million users and had answered more than 27 million questions.  

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ChaCha answers who, what, when, where and why, and has emerged as the No. 1 way for advertisers and marketers to engage their audience. Through its unique “ask-a-smart-friend” platform, ChaCha has answered nearly one billion questions since launch from more than 15 million unique users per month via SMS text (242-242™), online (, Twitter (@chacha), Facebook app, iPhone app, Android app, and voice (1-800-2-ChaCha™). Working with major brands such as Paramount, AT&T, Palm, Johnson&Johnson, P&G, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Sonic, and presidential political campaigns, is one of the fastest growing mobile and online publishers according to Nielsen and Quantcast.

ChaCha was co-founded by proven innovator and entrepreneur Scott Jones and is funded by VantagePoint Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, Bezos Expeditions; Morton Meyerson, former President and Vice Chairman of EDS as well as Chairman and CEO of Perot Systems; Rod Canion, founding CEO of Compaq Computer; the Simon family; and Jack Gill, Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

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