ChaCha Secures $6 Million in Private Funding from Jeff Bezos, Rod Canion, Jack Gill and Others
Company also appoints three members to board of directors
INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ChaCha (www.chacha.com), the only real-time human-powered search engine in the world, announced today it received $6 million in private funding in 2006. The ChaCha search system is so innovative that 18 patents have been filed in the first year. The funding was led by Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Jeff Bezos, with additional participation from Rod Canion, founding CEO of Compaq Computer, and Jack Gill, veteran Silicon Valley investor, founder of Vanguard Ventures and current partner at Maven Ventures.
“At ChaCha, we often give you instant search results that are better than other search engines”
As the first search engine to offer two options for searching -- one with a human guide who assists you in real-time via an instant-message chat and the other option providing immediate search results that include instantaneous user-ranked results, ChaCha is standing out in a crowded search engine market.
“At ChaCha, we often give you instant search results that are better than other search engines,” said CEO Scott A. Jones. “But if you’re still stuck and searching for something a little more difficult, we can connect you with a live human guide in real-time who will assist you with your search, for free.
Investors are eager to be involved with emerging leaders in the rapidly growing multi-billion dollar search industry. Here are some of ChaCha’s investors:
Bezos Expeditions: This is the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos, who was named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year in 1999 for his visionary leadership and founding of Amazon.
Rod Canion: As the founding CEO of Compaq Computer, Canion set records during his decade tenure for the largest first-year sales in the history of American business and reached the Fortune 500 and the $1 billion revenue mark faster than any other company in history.
Jack Gill: Gill is a veteran venture capitalist and co-founder of Vanguard Ventures. Gill is a founding partner of Maven Ventures in Silicon Valley.
Simon Equity Partners: Simon Equity Partners is an affiliate of the largest publicly traded retail real estate company in North America – Simon Property Group.
Don Aquilano: Aquilano is Managing Director at Gazelle TechVentures, an Indianapolis-based venture capital firm.
“Right now is a very exciting time to enter the rapidly growing search industry, and I believe ChaCha’s radically different approach to search through their innovative use of real people will continue to gain traction in the marketplace,” said Rod Canion, founding CEO of Compaq Computer and ChaCha investor. “I am pleased to be involved on the ground floor of such an exciting project.”
Along with computer scientist Michael McRobbie, Indiana University’s Provost and VP of Academic Affairs, investors Rod Canion and Jack Gill have been appointed to ChaCha’s board of directors. Joining CEO Scott A. Jones and President Brad Bostic, the three men possess extensive high-tech industry knowledge to guide ChaCha as it continues to expand its presence in the marketplace.
Since launching the experimental Alpha version in September 2006, ChaCha has had more than 20,000 people sign up to be guides. In its first four months of operations, the search engine has already garnered user traffic at levels exceeding those at many first generation search engines.
For more information or to “ChaCha” your next search query, try ChaCha’s Beta version at www.chacha.com.
ChaCha is the first and only search engine that can instantly connect users to a live person to assist with searches. Co-founded by Scott A. Jones and Brad A. Bostic in 2006, ChaCha is dedicated to providing a breakthrough new search experience offering users with two options to search: with a guide or without. Both ways produce relevant results garnered from all the best resources on the deep web and from the top choices of more than 20,000 ChaCha guides. Rated as the “#1 Search Engine of 2006” by SEO Charles Knight and re-posted alphabetically by highly respected blogger, John Battelle (www.battellemedia.com), ChaCha is combining the best of technology with human intelligence. Jones is the inventor of the voicemail system used by over a half billion people worldwide and is the leader of other successful tech ventures including Gracenote (see www.scottajones.com). Bostic has led a number of high-tech start-ups. For media inquiries, please contact Liza Dittoe of Dittoe Public Relations at 317-202-2280 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.chacha.com.