On its profile page, the Portland-based company describes itself as “your guide to websites,” with profiles of more than 10 million sites already in the database. When I first heard of AboutUs, I wondered if it was addressing a real need — isn’t it easier to just visit a website itself, rather than reading about it elsewhere? It sounds like there are plenty of people who find value in the service, though, since the site reports 7 million unique monthly users and says it was profitable last year. AboutUs makes money through advertising; businesses can also pay the company to write and design profile pages.
As for the content itself, it’s a mixed bag, as you’d expect from any wiki. For example, the only content on the VentureBeat.com page is a one-sentence description, while Editor Matt Marshall’s old site, SiliconBeat, has a more detailed profile.
To a certain extent, AboutUs competes with user-edited databases like CrunchBase and TradeVibes, although it focuses on websites instead of companies. Chief executive Ray King told TechFlash that he wants AboutUs to eventually become a collborative workspace for people to exchange ideas. That seems like a bit of a stretch from what’s available now and would force AboutUs to compete with many other collaborative software companies.
The new funding comes from Voyager Capital. AboutUs has raised $5 million in all; its most notable employee is probably Ward Cunningham, who created the first wiki.
Update: Here’s AboutUs’s blog post about the funding.
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