Wikia, a web hosting company of community-based websites for fans of movies, bands, games, and other subjects, has brought on $15 million in fresh funding.
Wikia plans to use the influx of cash to make itself more popular around the world, specifically in Japan and more generally in Asia, according to a statement today on the news. Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, will advise Wikia on its expansion efforts.
Not that Wikia is small. Wikia claims more than 400,000 fan communities with content in more than 200 languages. Wikia also receives more than 2 billion monthly page views (much of this traffic comes from mobile devices). And Wikia has secured partnerships with IDG, IGN, Warner Bros., and other companies.
The growth of the site over the years hints at the power of creating easy places for communities of subcultures to form. But some community sites win, while others fail. LiveJournal, for instance, no longer carries the gravity it once did. While some music fans still gravitate to MySpace, it’s not the behemoth it once was. Wikia has gradually built itself up on the technology front and made acquisitions of companies like Huddler that have helped it maintain freshness.
Digital Garage is leading the new round. Existing investors like Amazon, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Institutional Venture Partners, are also participating, according to the statement, alongside Asuka Investments, Tose, Suneight, and Nobuyuki Idei. Amazon also recently backed another web hosting company, Acquia.
Wikia announced an $11 million round in 2012.
Wikia started in 2006 and is based in San Francisco, with more than 200 employees.