ChaCha is a service where you can get human-powered answers to any questions by calling or texting ChaCha at 242-242. The company has raised $14 million in funding led by VantagePoint Capital Partners and Rho Ventures.
ChaCha threatened to file a lawsuit against HTC for naming one of their phones the HTC ChaCha. Now HTC is renaming the phone from ChaCha to ChaChaCha. ChaCha is a registered trademark and search results are offered through SMS so it does not surprise me that they would threaten to sue HTC. [Android Central]
ChaCha.com is a question and answer service that has raised $3 million in funding from Qualcomm Venture Partners. This puts ChaCha at a total of $75 million in funding. ChaCha CEO Scott Jones said that Qualcomm’s “experience and insight into the global wireless ecosystem will help ChaCha continue to expand its service worldwide.”
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ChaCha is a mobile Q&A service that has raised $20 million. This brings the company’s total funding to about $72 million. This round of funding was led by Rho Ventures and VantagePoint. This money will be used for additional company growth. ChaCha receives about 15 million monthly unique visitors per month between their online and mobile platforms. [AllThingsD]
ChaCha is a human-powered mobile service that has just raised $7 million in funding, bringing the total funding to $70 million. ChaCha has about 70 employees and was co-founded by Brad Bostic and Scott Jones. Bostic left this past May. ChaCha human search guides are paid about $0.10 to $0.20. Investors in ChaCha include Scott Jones, Morton Meyerson, Simon Properties, Indiana’s 21st Century Technology Fund, Jeff Bezos, and Bezos Expeditions. ChaCha hits about 9 million unique visitors per month to its website and mobile page.
ChaCha was created by Brad Bostic and Scott A. Jones. ChaCha is a mobile question answering service that transformed their business multiple times. They started out as a search engine where humans would help people find their results. Then it turned in to a mobile calling company where you tell an automated guide what you are looking for and someone will send you a text message with the answer. Now you send text messages to them and then they text message you back.
The company has $43 million in funding from Jeff Bezos, Indiana’s 21st Century Technology Fund, Morton Meyerson, Scott Jones, Simon Properties, and other undisclosed investors.
Brad Bostic, co-founder of the company is stepping down as the President of the company. He will not be replaced according to TechCrunch. He will remain as an advisor and strategist to the company. It is likely that Bostic had become fed up that the company has not been profitable even though they have laid off one-third of their work force. Although the company is not profitable, they are cash flow positive and there has been consistent growth in the audience.
ChaCha’s latest round of funding was in March 2009 and that is when they announced a major reduction in staff.
ChaCha used to be a search engine with guides, but now it is an SMS service that finds answers to custom questions. Last summer the company reduced the salaries paid to the guides that find the answers to the questions to about $0.10-$0.20 per answered question.
The company has raised an additional $12 million in funding. They will be using this investment to expand local and national advertising sales. The company has also opened an office in New York. So far the company has raised about $43 million in the last two years.
“This funding is a tribute to the strength of our service and the continuing rapid growth of the mobile search and advertising market, stated ChaCha CEO Scott A. Jones. “Our solid position in this space will help us focus on attracting more advertisers that want to reach today’s mobile generation, a group that is beginning to make buying decisions based on what they see on their mobile devices.”
Even though the company raised additional funds, ChaCha will be reducing headcount and overhead in order to save costs.
[via ChaCha press release]
ChaCha, the world’s first human powered search engine is nickeling-and-diming the guides that are the heart of the company. ChaCha has raised about $16 million in funding within the last year and a half and cannot get a solid business model going. According to TechCrunch, good ChaCha guides make 20 cents per answer given to those who want to search and bad ChaCha guides make 10 cents per answer.
Let’s say that an average guide can answer 30 questions in the span of an hour, given that the traffic is there. On the low-end, the guide will make $3 in an hour. On the high-end, the guide will make $6 per hour. This is less than minimum wage in all of the United States that have minimum wage laws (except for Georgia, Kansas, Wyoming).
Clearly the guides and potential guides aren’t happy about it. On a message board of ChaCha guides, here are some of the comments:
- “I just started this last week and I’m pretty disappointed. 15 cents is a stretch but 10 cents is definitely not worth the time.”
- I kinda eyerolled it when I saw the note in my e-mail. It’s understandable that they want every Guide to be dedicated to the clients, but you can’t rally the troops and then cut some of them off at the knees if they’re not getting “volume”.
- One of the reasons I have not gotten on board yet is I did the math and figured out that it takes 500 answers to earn $100 at $.20 each. At 3 minutes a question, that’s 20 questions an hour, it would take 25 hours to earn $100! That’s ridiculous! I’ve seen some comments on here that you should be able to do many of them in a minute, and if you averaged 40 questions in an hour, that’s $8/hr, which is minimum wage here in CA. That’s not bad, but there’s no guarantee you will be able to do that many questions, and if you’re in it for the money (which, face it, we are), you could get a job in the mall or anywhere else and have the money guaranteed!
I’ve seen ChaCha change their business model so many times that it’s not even funny any more. Perhaps ChaCha should use their funding and build a real search engine that doesn’t depend heavily on constant underpaid manual labor.