Qwiki raises additional $1M for Series A

Faith Merino · March 31, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/18bc

The startup gets extra funding from Groupon co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky

Qwiki, the rich media site that seeks to “forever improve the way people experience information," on Thursday announced the addition of another $1 million to its previous $8 million Seres A round, bringing the company's total raised to $10.5 million. And who dropped the extra $1 mil? None other than Groupon co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky.

Specifically, Keywell and Lefkofsky invested the $1 million via their recently established fund Lightbank. Says Brad Keywell: "Doug and the Qwiki team are solving a real problem with a technically innovative and scalable solution that applies to multiple verticals.  We are looking forward to working with them as they accelerate the expansion of their business."

The company's previous round of funding, which totaled $9.5 million, was led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, with help from YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, Juniper Networks co-founder Pradeep Sindhu, Lerer Media Ventures, Tugboat Ventures and Contour Venture Partners. 

For those who have not experienced the awesomeness that is Qwiki, the site currently has more than three million reference topics which essentially take search to the next level.  Typing in virtually any search terms will return a list of related Qwikis that present information not as black and white text, but as a rich media narrative, complete with a dynamic and interactive photo collage, digitized voice that reads the text, and links to related Qwikis.  And the whole experience is completely digitized and curated, with virtually no human input other than the typing of the search terms. You can spend hours clicking through different Qwikis. 

The company was co-founded by entrepreneur Doug Imbruce and Internet pioner Dr. Louis Monier, who also founded AltaVista. At first glance, the site seems to put a new spin on search--a more high-tech, futuristic search, but Dr. Monier clarifies that that isn't the case: “Qwiki is not search – it’s a new media format and a groundbreaking method of consuming information.  The future of Qwiki is to allow mass creation and customization of rich media via our platform, and our new public alpha features represent the first step towards that vision.”

The site launched publicly in January. 

Lefkofsky and Keywell founded Lightbank In March 2010 and since then, their portfolio has expanded to include Groupon, Echo, Betterfly, Pawncho, MediaBank, Sprout Social, Where I've Been, Poggled, Innerworkings, Watermelon Express, and 60mo. 

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