The Success Story of Quora – How it Managed to Surpass People’s Expectations

What is Quora?

Quora was founded in the year 2009 by Adam D’Angelo, former CTO of Facebook, and Charlie Cheever a former Facebook employee. Based in Mountain View, California, the publisher of Quora is Quora Inc. Although Quora was launched in 2009, the website was made public to the public in June, 2010. Quora is a questions and answer platform that gives people the facility to ask questions and seek answers from real people.

Moreover, the question answer platform allows users to ask questions publicly or through anonymously. They can also collaborate on Quora by simply editing the questions, suggesting the edits to the answers on the platform that have been posted by other users.

About the Co-founders!

About Adam D’Angelo

Adam D’Angelo, the brain behind the Quora and Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg happen to be school friends. Both of them went to the same school, Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Later, he received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the prestigious California Institute of Technology. In the year 2005, Adam was amongst the 24 finalists in the international Top coder Collegiate Challenge.

Since, both Mark and Adam shared a great bond and in the year 2004, Zuckerberg appointed Adam the Vice President of Engineering at his start-up Facebook, which was at that time in its early days. Later in 2008, Adam was promoted to the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Facebook. He worked as the CTO of Facebook for nearly two years where he led the development of the Data teams and grew Facebook platform. He also looked after the new product design as well as the architecture of the Facebook website.

About Charlie Cheever

Speaking about Charlie, he also worked in Facebook as the Manager of software engineering. In 2006, he got a mail from the Facebook and was offered the position of software engineering manager. Initially, he ignored the email and did not think much about the opportunity. But later he changed his mind and went on accept the offer extended to him. Prior to joining Facebook, Charlie worked for Amazon for a long period of time.

How The Idea of Quora Came Into Existence 

Adam was inspired to create Quora because he was of the opinion that Question and Answer is one of those areas on the internet that is not really good. He thought that there are many websites that cater to Q&A, but no one have taken the initiative to come along with something good.

So, it was his idea which he shared with Charlie while working at Facebook and the later connected with the idea instantly. Both Adam and Charlie were still working at Facebook and they exchanged ideas and plans of setting up a company that would make it easier for people to share their thoughts, knowledge, as well as the opinions.

Later in the year of 2008, both of them decided to leave Facebook to execute their idea and create their own startup. They came with the name ‘Quora’ for their start-up which is derived from the word Quorum, and that translates to a group of people who come together to reach a consensus. Quora was launched in the year 2009 and it took almost one year for the founders to develop the company and the Q&A was made public in 2010.

During the initial days, Quora was compared to the search engine Google. However, as people used the platform, they discovered the difference between both the platforms. Google is an algorithm focussed platform whereas Quora derived its content from the knowledge shared by the people on its platform.

Growth of the Idea and Funding

After Quora was made public, in no time the website was creating buzz in the Silicon Valley. The friends of founders and their friends began to invite each other on Quora and so on. The user base of Quora grew with each passing day as the content on the platform seemed valuable and useful to the users. The popularity of the question and answer platform reached to a new level in the short time of its inception and it had an estimated 500,000 registered unique users by January 2011.

The following year, Charlie stepped from his role at the company, however he decided to provide his expertise as an advisor. One of the interesting things was that, Adam was so confident about his idea that he invested his own money in the company during the Series B round of funding. Following the investment, he acquired majority of the control in the company in his hands to make sure that things work according to his way.

Following the success of the idea, Quora launched a blogging platform in 2013 to enable its users post non-answer content such as images as well as other stuff from their profiles. Come April 2014, and Quora managed to raise a sum of $ 80 million from Tiger Global Management. Further, it went on to acquire Parlio, an online Q&A site started by WaelGhonim in the March of 2016.

As the time passed, Quora continued to witness growth with each passing year. It received various fundings during these times, and investors as well. To grow its operations and accelerate its growth, Quora received $ 85 million funds in a series D round of funding taking its total revenue to $ 1.8 billion valuations with Collaborative Fund and Y Combinator.

How much is Quora worth?

Following series D funding of $85 million, Quora managed to attract a total funding of $452 million. This made Quora ranked among the Unicorn start-ups with a valuation worth $1.8 billion as per the Tech Crunch. So, if the continues to grow in similar fashion, then it can go for an IPO in the future. However, for that to take place, Quora needs to generate sufficient revenue to maintain its operations and sustain growth.

Quora Revenue Model

Quora is simply a Question & Answer portal where the content is curated by the users on the platform and the content is managed by the company. The focus of the Quora has always been focussed on developing a high-quality knowledge base that stays highly useful for as long possible.

To make sure that content on Quora stays useful and informative, the company from time to time introduces new features such as merged questions, wikidata references, translations, Quora sessions etc. The features like merged questions have been introduced on the platform to increase user engagement and garner more traffic to the website. Also, Quora does not ask for the user to register to its platform which further makes using the website easier.

Nonetheless, the revenue model that Quora follows is basic, i.e. it generates revenue through advertisements that it puts on its platform which are relevant to its users. Quora has been able to incorporate ads within its revenue model better when compared to the others as it gives important relevant ads from advertisers which are relevant. The Ads are included in the Quora revenue model in a beautiful manner that they always appear to be a part of it.

Further, Quora is growing significantly at a 3-digit growth rate and the estimated valuation of the company stands at $1.8 billion. The sole of the objective of the Quora remains the same till date, which is to generate high quality database of answers to questions that are asked by millions of its users from across the world on its platform. 

Some interesting facts about Quora –

  • Unique Monthly Users – 693 million
  • Number of topics on Quora – 400,000
  • Percentage of Quora traffic that comes from mobile – 40%

Key partners of Quora in its Journey

There have been some important stakeholders who have played significant role in Quora’s success. Those are:

  • Users
  • Top Writers
  • Power Users
  • Publishers/Online Businesses
  • Investors
  • VIP Writers

How Quora has been Growing Across the World 

In the same year, Quora made itself available in German and Italian languages which gave further boost to its ever-growing popularity. By the end of April 2018, Quora launched the facility of video answers which made the platform accessible to people who earlier found it difficult to type their answers due to some or other types of disabilities.

The month of January 2019 witnessed Quora extending its support for the Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Marathi, Bengali, and Tamil languages. This makes the platform accessible in most parts of the world thus giving rise to its ever-growing popularity.

Final Words – The evolution of Quora shows how one curious idea can become an invention and change the lives of people. Today, it is one of the most promising and useful websites across the internet which is not only earning profits, rather it is adding significant value to our day to day lives!