Qwiki closes $8M round led by Eduardo Saverin

Faith Merino · January 20, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1621

The multimedia search site promises to be the next generation of information consumption

Qwiki’s mission statement is grand and nebulous: The company’s goal is to “forever improve the way people experience information.”  That doesn’t sound so hard.  And now Qwiki has the funds to begin executing its mission.  The company announced Thursday that it has closed an $8 million Series A round led by none other than Facebook co-founder and elusive billionaire Eduardo Saverin.

As cloudy as the company’s stated goal appears, the site is actually remarkably cool.  In essence, the site takes search to the next level, offering results in the form of multimedia narratives.  The site is currently in invite-only alpha mode, but it already offers a little sampling of what users can expect.  Categories include actors, cities, artists, monuments, natural wonders, and popular topics, and clicking on an individual page will take you to a rich media narrative complete with a digitized voice that reads the information and a dynamic and interactive photo collage that shifts and highlights specific photos in sync with the information that the digital voice is reading.

Even more amazing is that the Qwiki experience involves no human input, other than the search terms entered by the user.  The entire experience is curated and machine generated.  A Qwiki spokesperson declined to comment on the company’s algorithm.

"Qwiki is a revolutionary new platform that will define the future of information consumption globally,” said Saverin in a prepared statement.  “I'm particularly excited to support the Qwiki team as their initial product gains momentum. It is always thrilling to be involved in the early stages of disruptive technology."

In addition to Saverin, other investors who participated in the round include YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, Juniper Networks co-founder Pradeep Sindhu, Lerer Media Ventures, Tugboat Ventures and Contour Venture Partners.  Saverin and Pejman Nozad of Amidzad Partners will be joining the Qwiki board of directors, but in an interesting move, they will have no voting rights.  They will merely be on board as observers.

The latest round of funds bring the company’s total raised to $9.5 million.  The fresh capital will be used to fund the company’s technology development and launch publicly on multiple platforms.

"Our new financial partners will help provide the resources, independence and strategic know-how to grow Qwiki to the next level and forever improve the way the world consumes information,” said CEO Doug Imbruce in the company’s announcement.

Image source: Qwiki.com

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