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ChaCha, a service that answers questions sent from users’ mobile phones, has raised $4 million in a new round of funding.
Users can send in almost any kind of question — queries highlighted on the ChaCha homepage right now include “What is somnambulism?” and “How can I get a girl to dump her boyfriend and come to me?” — and they receive answers from other people. (The most interesting use I’ve seen so far was the election-related answer service ChaCha provided last fall.) Being human-powered, rather than completely automated, presumably leads to higher-quality answers, but it also raises questions about whether the company can control costs as it grows.
The new funding comes just six months after ChaCha announced a $30 million venture round. The Carmel, Indiana company hasn’t responded to queries about the round, so I don’t know who the investor is or why ChaCha needed to raise money so soon. The funding was first reported by TechCrunch, based on a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the filing, the goal for the new funding is $5 million, and $2 million of the money is meant to pay off debt from Citigroup.
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