Wikia, a for-profit group of user generated wiki sites that was founded by Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales in 2004, is now a profitable company. CEO Gil Penchina says the company’s revenues grew 4x in 2009 while they kept costs in check. Late last year the company reported strong financial results, but hadn’t yet reached true profitability.
He won’t disclose what revenues are, but the company currently has 40 employees and has open spots for a dozen more, he says (although I only count eight positions on their jobs page).
Wikia sites attracted about 21 million unique worldwide visitors in December (Comscore), and those visitors racked up over 380 million page views. The company attracts around 8 million U.S. visitors monthly, they say.
The site makes money on ads surrounding content. They have a direct sales team and also pull ads from networks and Google.
Their largest site is lyrics.wikia.com, with over a million lyrics pages. answers.wikia.com, which launched a year ago, has 600,000 user generated questions and a million monthly visitors. A couple of months later the company ended its attempt to build a search engine that could challenge Google.
The company has raised $14 million over two venture rounds.