This one slipped through the cracks, but apparently Brad Bostic, who co-founded mobile Q&A answer service ChaCha together with current CEO Scott Jones back in 2006, has stepped down as President of the company and will not be replaced.
In an interview with the Indianapolis Business Journal, Bostic stresses that he will stay involved with the company as an advisor and strategist, saying ChaCha has matured enough for him no longer to be needed for day-to-day operations.
“I’m doing some evangelism for the company at trade shows, at conferences. [To say I] ‘left’ is not the appropriate characterization,” Bostic said.
More interestingly, Bostic openly discussed the fact that ChaCha is struggling to become a profitable company in the current economic climate, despite the fact it fired 1/3 of its workforce and brought on salary cuts for the rest of the employees earlier this year.
ChaCha lets people ask questions from their mobile phones to have humans (so-called Guides, often part-timers working from home) attempt to correctly answer them by text message. ChaCha makes money by embedding advertisements in those answers, and advertisers pay only when users respond by clicking through to the text ad. In the past, we’ve questioned the scalability of its business model, and we’ve also made fun of some of the answers that have been sent to users by Guides.
We pegged the company’s total funding at $58 million, but Bostic in the interview says only $43 million was poured into the company, among others by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. He also said the company is not yet cash-flow positive, but that there is a consistent growth in audience and revenue is starting to come in.
Let’s hope for ChaCha that Bostic’s evangelizing at conferences spurs more thereof.