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The journey of Quora


The journey of Quora
The journey of Quora
Quora, Inc. was co-founded by Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever in 2009 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States. Both the co-founders were employees of Facebook prior to starting Quora, Adam D’Angelo was the CTO and Charlie Cheever worked as an engineer there.

How did the founders come up with the idea of Quora?

In 2009, the co-founders felt the lack of a good Q&A site, although Yahoo answers were definitely there but were not considered up to the mark. They thought that Q&A is one of those zones on the internet where there are plenty of sites, but no one had come forward with something that was really good and satisfactory yet. Thus, they decided to build this site, now widely known as Quora, that could have a good impact on the global society.

Series of events in Quora’s lifetime

  • Post its foundation in June 2009, it was made available to the public on June 21, 2010. It earned a lot of praise for its good interface as well as for the quality of the answers written by its users.
  • In March 2010, Quora, Inc. had a valuation of US$ 86M.
  • By late December 2010, it was recording 5-10 times more users than usual on its site, due to which, initially it faced problems managing the increased traffic.
  • Quora released its iOS app in September 2011.
  • In June 2011, Quora restructured the navigation and usability of its website.
  • Release of its Android app in September 2012.
  • The company launched a blogging platform in January 2013, enabling users to post non-answer content.
  • Text search of Q&A introduced in March 2013.
  • In November 2013, Stats feature was launched, enabling all Quora users to see insights and detailed data of how many people had seen, upvoted, and shared their questions and answers.
  • In 2014, Quora joined the famous startup accelerator – Y Combinator. 
  • March 2016 Quora acquires Parlio, an online Q&A site co-founded by Wael Ghonim, Karim Fateem and Osman Ahmed Osman. Parlio was an online community that empowered people to share their thoughts and views and communicate with well-known highbrows and public figures.
  • In April 2018, Quora launched video answers, that is, enabling users to answer questions through a video.
  • In September 2018, Quora hit 300 million monthly users.
  • In December 2018, Quora reported a data breach that exposed the data of 100 million users.
  • After 2018, Quora began showing ads on its platform. It earns money through these advertisements. It strives to show only relevant, not unnecessary ads to its users.

Funding Timeline:

Quora has raised US$ 226M spanning 4 funding rounds. They are listed as follows:

1. March 28, 2010 – Series A Round:

 Funding received: US$ 11M

 Investors: SV Angel, Benchmark, Techammer and Keith Rabois

2.   May 14, 2012 – Series B Round:

Funding received: US$ 50M 

Investors: Matrix Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, Benjamin Ling, Peter Thiel, Adam D’Angelo, Jared Morgenstern

3.   April 9, 2014 – Series C Round:

Funding received: US$ 80M

Investors: Y Combinator, Benchmark, Founders Fund, Matrix Partners, Tiger Global Management, North Bridge Venture Partners

4.  April 21, 2017 – Series D Round:

Funding received: US$ 85M

Investors: Y Combinator, Matrix Partners, Tiger Global Management, Collaborative Fund, Dustin Moskovitz

Despite being a successful company, Quora still struggles to generate revenue (it generated only US$ 20M in 2018) and investors are generally not keen on investing in it because of its poor track record of actually making money.

How is Quora useful to the startup community?

Besides being a very renowned and highly ranked Q&A community, it’s one of the top-visited online sites in the world. This makes it a great place for startup teams to familiarize their product or solutions with the rest of the world.

– Quora consists of a large community of people who rely on each other for information. By posting content about your startup, consumers might start taking notice of it. If they ask questions and startup teams are able to provide informative answers to them, you’re inevitably increasing the integrity of your brand. Quora simply acts as a means to help startup teams participate in meaningful discussions with their target spectators and showcase their brand as an expert in its field.

– Quora’s platform also helps founders with influencer marketing, which is one of the key aspects of digital marketing nowadays. If you’re looking for influencers and struggling to find them, Quora is the right place to be at. There are many users who are identified as key contributors by Quora because of their extremely informative answers. Users trust these key contributors the most because they have constantly established their reliability. Founders can interact with these influencers by answering their questions or by giving comments to their answers. They can even directly contact them and ask if they would be interested in helping them endorse their brand.

– Quora’s platform also helps startups gain insights about their target audience’s preferences. The questions on Quora are a vital source of information and help startups gauge what kind of content their target audience will find engaging. Suppose, a number of people are enquiring about the same problem, maybe a particular brand has the solution to it. Questions and their answers are one of the best ways to learn more about a brand’s customers, the way they think, what they currently use and what they actually need. By actively understanding and solving their problems, a brand can remain relevant in the market.

– The platform also helps companies increase their search result rankings. Google search results regularly include Quora posts among its highest ranking sites. This makes Quora an influential SEO tool to increase organic traffic on a company’s site. By using the right keywords with the help of keyword research tools, they can increase their chances of showing up in the top search results.

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Aishwarya writes about the startup ecosystem on VCBay. She is a third-year Computer Science engineering student who looks forward to exploring the world of startups and finance.



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