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Q&A service Answers.com raises major money to buy ForeSee

Answers.com acquires ForeSee
Image Credit: Photo Illustration: Eric Blattberg

Answers.com is no longer just a Q&A hub. The company now operates as a cloud-based platform that sells its Q&A service to other sites — and it just acquired customer experience analytics firm ForeSee to flesh out its software offerings.

The acquisition was financed through debt and equity funding rounds in Answers Corp. and AFCV Holdings, Answers’ parent company. Answers.com reportedly raised $300 million in new funding and shelled out more than $200 million for ForeSee, according to TechCrunch, marking its third acquisition this year.

ForeSee’s analytics solution enables businesses to better track, understand, and even predict their customers’ behavior. And now it’ll also help them measure question and answer engagement, naturally.

“Our recent acquisitions of Webcollage and Easy2 have strengthened our industry leadership, and ForeSee further augments the value we can deliver to our clients,” said David Karandish, CEO of Answers, in a statement.

ForeSee’s customers include roughly half the Fortune 100, top Internet retailers, major banks, and government agencies. The company raised around $20 million in funding prior to the acquisition.

And as for Answers, its subscriptions now account for about half its revenue, which is good news for the once-troubled company. It once operated as a public company, but AFCV Holdings (a Summit Partners portfolio company) acquired Answers for $127 million in Feb. 2011, taking the company private and altering its strategy to a SaaS (software-as-a-service) model. Answers had roughly $160 million in sales for 2013.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Silicon Valley Bank led the debt financing transaction in Answers Corp., while Summit Partners, TA Associates, and AFCV founders and management participated in AFCV Holding’s equity round.

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