Though yet to scale in any meaningful way, investors still see dollars in digital Q&A site Quora -- $400 million, to be exact. That’s the pre-money valuation at which the startup just raised another $50 million from Facebook board member Peter Thiel, who invested with his own personal funds, and others.
“Days ahead of Facebook Inc.'s initial public offering, the company's network of former executives and investors are doing their own deal making,” reports The Wall Street Journal, referring to Quora founders and ex-Facebookers Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever.
“[Thiel] understands these kinds of companies,” said D’Angelo, who put $20 million of his own money into the Series B financing, sources tell TechCrunch.
By way of explaining how the investment came together, Business Insider writes: “If you want to understand the power structure of Silicon Valley these days, look no further than question-and-answer site Quora's $50 million round.” “The participation of Wikihow co-founder Hannah is also interesting to note, as he is painfully familiar with the Q&A space, through his WikiHow and eHow investments,” TechCrunch adds.
GigaOm’s Om Malik is asking why Quora merits such a high valuation? “I mean, its traffic at best can be described as middling,” he writes. “There is lot more fly-by traffic from search engines, but is that enough to justify their valuation? Its mobile applications is meh and more of an afterthought. The design of the service is forgettable. Some members of the team have left to work for other companies such as Pinterest and Facebook. The only thing that is actually good about the service is some of the content contributions and the discovery of content.”
What’s more, “the company competes with a ton of other question-and-answer services, such as the Ask Reddit subreddit, Ask on Google+, and even Facebook Questions,” VentureBeat notes. Long term, “Quora hopes to gather as much information as possible to create a large database of information, similar to Wikipedia.”