Just when you thought there were too many lightweight wiki companies around, another one is emerging with momentum.
Wikis are Web sites that let multiple people edit their pages, the most famous one being Wikipedia. They’re good for people working in small groups on projects. Why would Mohr Davidow invest in this, when you’ve already got a raft of early players, from Socialtext, to Jot (now owned by Google, and closed to new users for now), WetPaint (which just raised 9.5 million last month from competing firm Accel Partners) and Wikispaces, not to mention the fast-growing Wikia (which is, however, slightly different, in that its wikis are structured according to thematic area, much like magazines on a rack, as opposed to individuals pursuing their own projects)? None of them are exactly rollingin the dough.
VentureBeat talked with seed investor Chris Yeh (who invested again in this latest around, along with seed investor Ron Conway), and Mohr Davidow’s David Feinleib. Yeh said Pbwiki has doubled its wiki growth over the past six months, which he believes is faster than chief independent competitors Wetpaint or Wikispaces (Socialtext has focused on corporate customers of late). Pbwiki now says it has more than 200,000 wikis, up from 130,000 in November, when we first reported on the company.
Feinleib said he was impressed with founder David Weekly’s reputation, and ability to get such traction with just $350,000 of seed funding. As for kicking the tires on whether Pbwikis’ numerous wikis were being created by real people, as opposed to spammers/squatters, Feinleib said he typed “Pbwiki” into some search engines and found enough convincing action. Notably, Feinleib said Mohr Davidow is “looking more aggressively at deals like this,” after not having made many new consumer Internet investments recently. However, he said he’s looking for evidence a company can make money, and noted Pbwiki’s premium accounts, which can be bought for between $10 and $35 month for extra features. It is now about break-even. We too opened an account at Pbwiki, and it has an easy feel to it. Like most wikis, you do have to go through the adjustment of figuring out how to create and organize new pages. It has many of the typical Web 2.0 features integrated; you can upload videos and other files into your wiki.