Ark is a people search engine launched at Y Combinator Demo Day that has raised $4.2 million in a seed round of funding. Ark crawls Facebook, RenRen, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find out as much data as possible. The founders at Ark got the idea for the startup when they found out that 30% of searches are for people.
In March 2012, Ark indexed over 1 billion people from their social networking data. About 250,000 people have signed up for beta invites.
The $4.2 million seed round is the largest that any Y Combinator has received. Investors in this round include Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, Greylock Partners, Intel Capital, SV Angel, Atlas Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Expansion Venture Capital, and Felicis Ventures. Angel investors from Facebook, Salesforce.com, Qualcomm, and Microsoft also participated in this round.
Ark currently has 20 people on staff and they plan to hire more for their mobile and search engineering teams. Ark started in summer 2011 and their search engine was developed during the Y Combinator Winter Program.