Report: ChaCha Raising More Capital

Mobile answers and voice search provider ChaCha is raising more money ($30M) according to this report:

ChaCha Search Inc., a Carmel, Ind.-based search startup, has secured around $11 million of a $30 million Series C round, according to a regulatory filing. No new shareholders are listed. The company had previously raised around $14 million from Morton Meyerson, Bezos Expeditions, Rod Canion (founding CEO of Compaq) and Jack Gill (partner at Maven Ventures). It also had secured a $2 million grant from 21st Century Technology Fund.

ChaCha successfully reinvented iteself as a mobile company after a false start on the desktop. The company sits in almost a unique position in the mobile world, although DA provider kgb has recently started encroaching on its turf. 

ChaCha offers the broadly accessible platform of voice (and SMS) as an input mechanism -- like DA -- but the flexibility of search. Other "voice search" and free DA competitors are more structured and rigid in their approach and capabilities. Automated services such as Live Search Maps, Google Maps for Mobile and others aren't yet evolved to the point where they can compete with the human guides that ChaCha employs on the back end to answer queries. 

However that "distributed call center" approach is costly. 

ChaCha will be on the SMS/Text-based advertising panel at Internet2Go later this week in San Francisco:

Panel: SMS - Not Sexy but Voluminous
Americans now spend more time texting than talking on their phones. The monthly volume of mobile messages has now reached 75 billion -- with a "B." SMS is also device-independent and can be done on the more than 85% of the market constituted by feature phones. Yet most marketers and pundits appear to be looking beyond SMS to the "mobile Internet." Are they missing a huge opportunity? How should agencies and advertisers think about SMS and where it fits into a mobile marketing plan?


Zaw Thet, CEO & Co-Founder, 4Info
Jay Highley, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Cha Cha
Greg Hallinan, VP of Marketing, Verve Wireless
Alec Andronikov, Chief Mobilizer/CEO, MoVoxx