Quora Raises $50 Million at $400 Million Valuation

By Neil Vidyarthi 

Quora, the social question and answer site that was all the rage in 2009, has raised $50 million as reported by the Wall Street Journal.  Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal and an early Facebook investor, was one of the main contributors, along with Benchmark Capital and Quora co-founder Adam D’Angelo who put $20 million of his own money.

The big question is what Quora is going to do with the infusion of new money.  Investor Josh Hannah from Matrix posted his thoughts about his new investment on the Forbes blog, and seems to be very bullish on the question-and-answer space, having invested in other web content repositories before.  Specifically, he’s interested in Quora being able to do what Google can’t:

“…there remains a enormous pile of information tied up in people’s heads, and a Google search fails to unlock it.  Quora is attacking that pile.”

Josh’s previous work was with eHow and WikiHow, which both attempted to give people ways to understand how to do things.  Quora’s question and answer format could make it a great way to solve that problem.  If I need to figure out how to fix my lawnmower, I want to be able to ask a smart, socially enabled tool like Quora to find me the answer to the question, “How do I fix my 2007 b-model lawn mower?”

At this point, though, the site is more directed towards professional queries, and Josh likes it that way, and describes the team as laser focused on quality of submissions:

“They are also fanatical about quality, and unwilling to sacrifice it for short term user growth, and that’s lead to a community at scale with a high quality of discourse.”

So, what do you think?  Is Quora going to be a cornerstone of the web?

Image: Adchariyaphoto via Shutterstock