Stack Overflow gets $12M, now Stack Exchange

Faith Merino · March 9, 2011 · Short URL:

The Q&A network of sites gets support from Index Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures

Stack Exchange, a Q&A network of sites formerly known as Stack Overflow, on Wednesday announced that it has secured a hefty $12 million in a Series B round led by Index Ventures, with help from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. This brings the company's total funds raised to $18 million, and the company announced today that it is changing its name from Stack Overflow to Stack Exchange.

Founded in 2008 as a single site called Stack Overflow, the venture initially began as a site where computer programmers could convene to ask and answer complex technical questions. But following a $6 million investment from Union Square Ventures, the company decided to expand its network to include other sites in August 2010. Today, the network hosts 45 different Q&A sites ranging from topics like software programming to photography and cooking. Stack Overflow still exists as a computer programming Q&A site within the network. 

Since August, the network has grown 60% to nearly 20 million unique monthly visitors and 95 million page views, as of February. Some 800 million registered users ask and answer questions within the network of sites, which parallel Wikipedia's crowd-sourcing platform in that anyone can answer a question and users can even edit other users' answers. A voting system ensures that quality answers get pushed to the top, and users who produce higher-quality answers have the opportunity to earn reputation points when people vote for their answers. 

In addition to the Q&A sites, the company recently re-launched the Stack Overflow Careers 2.0 job search and recruitment site, where employers can search among 23,000 developers. 

Q&A sites are quite the hot commodity these days. Quora has soared as an expert/crowd-sourced Q&A site, and the four-year-old Q&A service ChaCha recently raised $20 million. What makes Stack Exchange different?

“Stack Exchange is a stand-out among some noteworthy companies in a very exciting space. We have rarely seen sites that engage a community as deeply as Stack Overflow. We believe that Stack Exchange’s singular focus on building very high-quality, community-driven Q&A sites is a winning strategy,” said Index Ventures partner and co-founder Neil Rimer, in a prepared statement. “Stack Exchange is disrupting and reshaping the way human knowledge is digitized, organized, prioritized and shared online.  I’m really looking forward to joining Stack Exchange’s Board and helping to shape the future of this exciting company.”

The company plans to use the new funds to explore new offerings and revenue streams. 

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Headquartered in New York City, Stack Exchange is a fast-growing network of question and answer sites covering a diverse range of topics from software programming and cooking to photography and personal finance. Founded in 2008, co-founders Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky brought together millions of computer programmers from around the world to help each other with detailed technical questions. Based on Stack Overflow’s success, the company expanded and launched the Stack Exchange Network in August 2010. Stack Exchange currently consists of 45 sites and has more than 19 million unique monthly visitors and growing. To date, the company has raised more than $18 million from Union Square Ventures, Index Capital and Spark Capital.  For more information, please visit