Say goodbye to Q&A site JustAnswer, and hello to its latest iteration, Pearl.com.
After eight years on the market, the site is ready to change its name, and more aggressively market its pay-to-play model.
Unlike more casual, free-form Q&A arenas, such as Yahoo Answers, the newly named Pearl.com prides itself on a network of roughly 10,000 paid “professionals,” from lawyers and tech experts to vets and doctors.
The model, according to founder and CEO Andy Kurtzig, reassures users that they’re almost immediately getting the best answers to their questions -- something crowdsourced Q&A sites like Quora can’t guarantee.
“There is significant information clutter on the Web, but people come to Pearl.com when they need to talk one-on-one with a professional about an important issue,” Kurtzig said.
As for pricing, the site’s users choose the fee they want to pay professionals, based on their desired response time and answer detail. Prices vary, but most questions average around $30. The site also offers monthly subscriptions for unlimited access to specific professional groups.
And despite a surge in free Q&A sites, Kurtzig’s strategy appears to be paying off.
After about eight years on the market, the site has built a monthly audience of about 10.5 million visitors. By contrast, its much-buzzed-about rival Quora currently sees a reported 760,000 monthly visitors.
The company is also reportedly generating over $100 million in annual revenue. Over the past five years, it claims to have grown revenue at an average annual rate of 123%. An international endeavor, it also currently generates revenue in 196 countries and 22 currencies.
Supporting its efforts, the company raised $25 million last year from Charles Schwab, along with Larry Sonsini, and Sandy Robertson -- but is only now bringing the funding to light.
Although yet to scale in any meaningful way, Quora recently raised another $50 million -- at $400 million valuation -- from a group led by Facebook board member Peter Thiel.