Quora Inc. is entering a new phase of its growth effort as it starts to look toward an initial public offering.
Adam D’Angelo, chief executive of the question-and-answer giant, revealed in an interview with VentureBeat today that his team has closed an $85 million investment led by Y Combinator Continuity and Collaborative Fund. The two venture capital firms were joined by several other big-name backers including Facebook Inc. co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.
The round reportedly almost doubles Quora’s valuation from the $900 million that it was worth after raising $80 million from a similar group of all-star investors in 2014. According to D’Angelo, the three years since have seen his company experience massive growth that reached a peak during 2016. The site added about 90 million active users over the past 12 months for a total of 190 million.
Quora will invest today’s funding in maintaining its momentum. D’Angelo said that one the way he plans to accomplish that is by hiring more machine learning experts to create personalizing features for fine-tuning the content that users see in their feeds. Those future employees’ knowhow should also lend itself to better targeting of the ads that Quora is starting to display on its site, which D’Angelo considers an important source of revenue.
“I think ads is a very good way to be a sustainable business and become cash-flow positive,” he told VentureBeat “And it’s very compatible with our mission to provide a free service to everyone in the world.” In conjunction with the advertising push, Quora will also work to keep growing the number of users that the ads on its site can reach.
The company’s expansion plans focus in large part on adding support for more languages to court users from outside the English-speaking world. Quora has introduced Spanish and French versions of its site over the past few months, a lineup that can probably be expected to grow.
The executive also divulged that he sees Quora going public at some point in the future. It doesn’t need to happen any time soon in view of today’s funding round, which should buy the company plenty of time to pursue to its grow plans independently.
Quora has received $235 million from investors to date.