Union Square Ventures, Others Invest In Alternative Search Engine DuckDuckGo

In a blog post, Union Square VenturesBrad Burnham just announced that the firm has invested in DuckDuckGo, a startup building a nifty search engine with less clutter and more privacy.

Scott Banister, Jim Young, Jeff Miller, Joshua Schachter, Kal Vepuri, Joshua Stylman and Peter Hershberg also invested in the round, writes founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg.

USV Managing Partner Burnham will be joining the fledgling company’s board. He writes:

The company is young and under staffed so there are definitely holes Gabriel hopes to fill, but his observation that “traditional algorithmic signals are not the only authority on the web,” and his clever use of real authorities to curate search results makes Duck Duck Go an interesting alternative to your everyday brand.

It’s unclear how much USV invested in the company, but we’re digging for more info.

From Weinberg’s blog post on the fundraising:

My original plan was to delay raising capital until I saw a compelling reason to do so, perhaps forever. For better or worse, I stuck to that plan, which ended up being about a 3.5yr delay.

So why now? At the end of last year I noticed that the search engine started to really click with a greater percentage of people in a way that it hadn’t before. Don’t get me wrong — we still have a long way to go to reach our vision — but it was obvious that some things were really starting to become compelling, e.g. our Zero-click Info, privacy policy and goodies.

And here’s how DuckDuckGo is growing, according to its internal stats.