Quora raises $85 million to develop its ads business: Report

Question-Answer website, Quora, has raised $85 million in a fresh funding round, according to a report by VentureBeat. Quora’s Co-Founder & CEO Adam D’Angelo in an exclusive interview with VentureBeat said that the round was co-led by Sam Altman, on behalf of Y Combinator Continuity and Collaborative Fund. Previous investors Tiger Global, Matrix Partners, and Dustin Moskovitz — one of the Co-founders of Facebook — also participated. With the latest funding, the company brings its funding money to approximately $235 million to date. The company had raised $80 million in Series C round in April 2014, and had a valuation of $900 million at that time. According to VentureBeat, the valuation, as said by a Quora spokesperson, as nearly doubled since then.

Expand internationally

The latest funding, according to the tech media portal, “will be used to expand the platform internationally, grow the business side, and make new hires, especially machine learning engineers, to help personalize the content users see.”

IPO any time?

While D’Angelo expects that Quora will “go public at some point,” he for now looks at implementation of a self-service advertising model as a “good way to be a sustainable business and become cashflow positive.” “And it’s very compatible with our mission to provide a free service to everyone in the world,” D’Angelo was quoted as saying. Quora has been experimenting with this self-service ads model for a few months now and will be launching it out of beta in the coming months. The company declined to comment on ad performance at this point. It last year, in April, announced an experimental pilot of third-party ads. At this stage we’ll only be showing ads from a handful of advertisers, and our main aim is to learn what kind of advertising works best for readers, writers, and advertisers. We know that, when done carelessly, ads can often be negative for user experience. Its first advertisers included Lever, Uber, Wealthfront and Sunrun.  

More international languages and Voice support

Quora recently added support for French version, which is currently in Beta mode and by invite only. Last year, in August, it added Spansish support Over the course of 2017, it is expected to launch Quota in more languages, and German and Italian are up next. In January, this year, Quora announced that it was available on Voice for Google Home and Amazon Echo. A Quora blog explains how Voice works:
Just like on the web and our mobile app, Quora on Voice is great for questions that require an expert answer or would benefit from an answer based on first-hand experience. For example, if your smart speaker is in your kitchen, try using Quora to ask “What’s the best way to cook sirloin steak?” or “How do I roast chestnuts?” and you’ll get helpful answers from expert chefs. Or maybe your smart speaker is in the living room next to a television and you’re wondering “Is QBR a good statistic to measure a quarterback?” or “How reasonable are the data visualizations in Westworld?” When Quora has a good answer to your question, we’ll read it to you. If we don’t have an answer, we’ll ask your question on Quora for you, and then notify you when someone has answered.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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