January 04, 2007

Amazon *10 Million* Funding For Wikia (Wikipedia-related company)

I get the feeling I should have said something recently about Google's revised job interview process or some other buzzy topic. But everyone else was (it seemed). In contrast, the following item struck me as more concretely meaningful, and arguably of potential indirect implication for the Wiki-like search project:

Wikia Raises 10 Million from Amazon

Amazon.com has invested $10 million into Wikia Inc., the for-profit wiki site founded by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. News of the deal was first reported last month, but the actual dollar amount had been kept confidential. Wikia previously had raised $4 million in Series A funding ...

Now, note it's previously been made very clear that Amazon is not a partner in the Wiki-like search project. But I wonder if that project is in part a way to attract more venture capital investment for Wikia. Search is such a hot area with so much venture capital money floating around that I keep thinking there's a missing piece somewhere. Recall, Wikia is a for-profit company founded by some of the same people who run Wikipedia.

But remember folks, venture capitalists want money back. And that money has to come from somewhere. Ultimately, that's going to be _Time's_ 2006 Person Of The Year - YOU!

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in wikipedia | on January 04, 2007 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage


I don't find it odd that Wikia is seeking venture capital, or that they would obtain a sum of this magnitude from Amazon, rather than a Venture Capital firm.

The Wikia folks are likely better off with this source of funds than from a VC firm.

Yes it is possible that Amazon will "want money back" but then again, this is a relatively trivial investment for Amazon, and they might gain significant indirect benefits from associating with wikia, and the folks working there.

On the other hand, it seems to me that the wiki concept fits the non-profit better than the traditional for-profit corporate . Once the of seeing your work published wears off, or becomes utterly commonplace, I wonder how many people are going to continue to contribute to for-profit wikis, so that someone else can make money off their creative efforts?

Needless to say, I have the same question about Yahoo's Answers, and many other hot concepts that are all about making money off the creativity of unpaid minions.

Posted by: Caribbean Guy at January 6, 2007 05:09 PM