ChaCha, an Indianapolis-based search startup, has raised $10 million in second-round funding. Morton Meyerson led the deal, and was joined by return backers Bezos Expeditions, Rod Canion (founding CEO of Compaq) and Jack Gill (partner at Maven Ventures). The deal included a $2 million grant from 21st Century Technology Fund, an Indiana technology initiative. ChaCha had raised a $6 million Series A round earlier this year.
ChaCha ( www.chacha.com ), the only real-time human-powered search engine in the world, announced today it received $8 million in private equity funding and a $2 million grant from Indiana’s 21(st) Century Technology Fund resulting in total proceeds to the company of $10 million. Morton Meyerson, a first time investor in the company who led the round, joins ChaCha investors Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Jeff Bezos, Rod Canion, founding CEO of Compaq Computer, and Jack Gill, veteran Silicon Valley investor, founder of Vanguard Ventures and current partner at Maven Ventures.
Morton Meyerson was formerly the Chairman and CEO of Perot Systems in addition to serving as president of EDS, where he led the company to unprecedented growth quarter after quarter. By the time of his departure, EDS was the largest computer services company in the world. At his private investment firm 2M Companies, Inc., Meyerson invests in companies that exhibit the same qualities and values as the most successful teams he led at EDS and Perot Systems.
“It is rare to find a company offering such a game-changing disruptive equation, even in the context of giants like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Having had the opportunity to work with the entire ChaCha team, I am especially impressed with the caliber of people driving this groundbreaking company,” said Meyerson. “I am excited for ChaCha’s future potential and think its plan to build upon its human-powered search engine to develop a mobile answers application is brilliant. ChaCha is absolutely in the right place at the right time in a multi-billion dollar industry that is ripe for innovation.”
Meyerson’s investment supports ChaCha’s plan to launch several unique services in early 2008. ChaCha is also pleased to announce Meyerson has been elected to its board of directors.
“It is an exciting time for us,” said CEO Scott A. Jones. “We have been building a unique infrastructure that will completely change search as we know it. We will soon unveil the next generation of search that will be the ultimate manifestation of the power of our special human-powered approach. We are thrilled Meyerson is behind our efforts and look forward to his support and input.”
ChaCha’s desktop search service is free to users and can provide searchers with as much or as little assistance as they would like with their questions. ChaCha is the first search engine to offer two options for searching � instantly or with the assistance of a human guide in real-time. If the instant results from “ChaCha Search” option do not completely answer a users’ question, ChaCha can immediately connect them with a live human guide who will assist them with their search in a real-time instant-message chat.
For more information or to “ChaCha” your next search query, try ChaCha’s Beta version at www.chacha.com .
ChaCha is a breakthrough search engine that gives users more relevant and credible instant results because the content is hand-picked by ChaCha’s community of search experts. A user unable to find exactly what he/she is looking for can work directly with a live search expert to narrow the search and get a more precise answer. Created by serial entrepreneur Scott A. Jones ( www.scottajones.com ) and Brad Bostic, ChaCha was rated the No. 1 Alternative Search Engine of 2006 by Charles Knight currently of Read/Write Web, winner of the TechPoint 2007 Mira Award for best IT Innovation and a winner of the 2007 CNET Webware 100 Awards. ChaCha is funded by entrepreneur Morton Meyerson, Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Jeff Bezos, Rod Canion, founding CEO of Compaq Computer, and Jack Gill, legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist.