ChaCha: A Bad Idea Poorly Executed, Raises $10 Million

Next Story

Entrepreneur 2.0

It is rare to find a company offering such a game-changing disruptive equation, even in the context of giants like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

These are the words of Morton Meyerson, the man who just led ChaCha’s $10 million Series B round of financing.

What is ChaCha? It’s a new search engine that lets users ask questions to a real person, called a search guide, via a chat interface. The search guide then returns results that are supposed to be more relevant than what Google, Yahoo and others provide.

The problem, as we’ve noted, that most people who go to the site are just screwing around (one ex search guide said 90% of the traffic is pranksters). And as you can see from the image, the search guides aren’t particularly knowledgeable about the web. In this case, the search guide answered a query about a UK version of Digg with “What is Digg?”

The fact is, ChaCha is a bad idea that has been poorly executed. In a sea of dumb startup ideas, ChaCha stands apart as more awful than just about all of the rest. And that didn’t change with today’s funding news. They simply went from being a bad startup, to a well funded bad startup.

As an aside, we have a long standing thread in the TechCrunch Forums where users are encouraged to post their most ridiculous ChaCha search experiences.

Update: Wow. That’s a fugly Comscore traffic chart. 24 million page views/month in January, down to 2 million in October. The good news is that it can’t possibly go much lower because it is not possible to have less than zero page views. Solid investment, Morton:

blog comments powered by Disqus