ChaCha Makes Its Crazy Business Model…Profitable
January 26, 2010
We’ve always had a lot of fun with Indianapolis-based startup ChaCha. They launched in 2007 as a human powered search engine – meaning a human found you answers when you typed in a query. Pranksters, obviously, loved it. And we noted the high cost of hiring humans to basically do Google searches and return results to people.
The human powered web search never really worked out. But ChaCha evolved. In 2008 they launched a mobile version of the service that lets users ask questions via SMS. Putting a human into the mix makes sense with mobile, with poor (or no) data connectivity and hard to use keyboards. But all phones have SMS, and ChaCha had a hit on their hands (they also had the infamous Eiffel Tower incident).