Question-and-Answer Site Quora Raises $80 MillionApril 09, 2014
New York Times
by David Gelles
Quora, the question-and-answer website, has raised $80 million in a new venture capital round meant to spur its growth and protect its independence.
The Series C round is being led by Tiger Global Management, and four existing Quora investors are also participating – Benchmark, Matrix Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners and Peter Thiel.
Quora would not reveal what valuation the new round placed on the company. But people familiar with the investment said it was higher than the $400 million Quora was valued at after a $60 million Series B round in 2012.
Though Quora said it was not looking to raise another round of venture capital, the company was receptive when Tiger Global approached it about investing.
Marc Bodnick, who leads Quora’s business and community teams, said that while Quora did not need the cash, it was taking on the additional funding as an insurance policy of sorts.
“Having this money allows us to keep running Quora no matter what happens in the world,” he said. “We raised money because we think it helps us ensure our independence and permanence.”
Mr. Bodnick said Quora had no interest in selling to a big company like Google or Facebook. “We’re not interested in being acquired, ever,” he said.
While he did not rule out going public, Mr. Bodnick said the company had no plans for an initial public offering anytime soon, saying, “We have no idea what the future capital structure of the company might be.”
Indeed, Quora might have a hard time going public now, despite the robust market for I.P.O.’s. The company has no revenue right now, although Mr. Bodnick said it expected to introduce advertising at some point.
Having the extra cash will allow Quora to spend more money on technology infrastructure and hiring, knowing it will still have a large cash cushion.
Mr. Bodnick said Quora would soon be expanding into other languages. “In may ways, Wikipedia inspires our mission,” he said. “Wikipedia is in every language people speak. If we want to fulfill our mission, we’re going to need to be, too.”
Some funds will also be used to improve Quora’s technical infrastructure, Mr. Bodnick said.
No Quora employees or former employees are selling stock as part of the fund-raising. Mr. Bodnick would not comment on whether Quora has allowed so-called secondaries as part of past funding rounds.
“Building a great consumer technology company requires a very long-term orientation,” Mr. Bodnick said. “Having a comfortable amount of funds in our bank account allows us to be very long-term oriented in our strategy.”