Wednesday, November 15, 2006 lands $1M

The site widely criticized for extracting data from web sites and Whois sources just announced it got $1M from 16 private investors.

Portland, Oregon based AboutUs announced this week that it has closed a Series A round of funding and raised $1 million. The site is a wiki directory of web sites, mostly populated automatically but with a healthy amount of traffic and a growing number of edits being made daily. If you look up your website on AboutUs, you’ll probably find an entry there. I expect most people who aren’t wiki lovers to think this is a strange business and to some degree I think it is too. It’s also very interesting and has some good people behind it.

Sixteen investors total participated in the round, with Capybara Ventures and Northwest Technology Venture providing institutional backing. AboutUs founder Ray King was co-founder and CEO of SnapNames. The Board of Advisors for AboutUs includes wiki forefather Ward Cunningham, Stephen Babson of Endeavour Capital and Keith Teare of Edgeio. The AboutUs site went live in August and has seen healthy traffic growth. The site’s traffic after only a few months is one of its primary selling points.

More + comments

Is text from a website raising copyright hackles?

Text from a website raising copyright hackles? Gimme a break. I’d say YouTube’s copyright challenges are just a wee tad bit more serious? And, for that matter, is this any different than any search engine scraping?

As for value here, seems to me pretty obvious. The site has virtually no value today; BUT, if the traffic trends are a harbinger of these guys become the de facto wiki people go to for editing or viewing info on companies, this becomes the wiki version of Hoovers, which is something I would invest in…

Comment by VCMike on November 15th, 2006 at 1:29 am