DuckDuckGo is growing - welcome USV et al.!

 
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DuckDuckGo has been growing in a number of ways this year: traffic, team and now investors (was previously just me). I'm really excited to announce that Union Square Ventures has led our first round of financing (Brad Burnham will join our board and just blogged about us).  Scott Banister, Jim Young, Jeff Miller, Joshua Schachter, Kal Vepuri, Joshua Stylman and Peter Hershberg also invested in the round.

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 Infoprivacy policy and goodies

As these things have started to click, the list of obvious ways to fruitfully extend DuckDuckGo has grown rapidly (e.g. more sourcesvertical goodies, etc.). In fact, the list has far outstripped our capacity to build them in reasonable time given current resources.

We've been trying to address this issue from a number of angles. We leverage external APIs as heavily as possible. We've been slowly open sourcing things and recruiting developers to help us integrate data and goodies. (If this piques your interest, start here!) 

And now we've started to build out the team. With a slightly larger team I think we can get a lot more done, and that's one thing I hope this financing round will bring us.

Of course we're also getting (IMHO) the best investors out there, and so I also hope that some of their experience will rub off on us in ways that will help us move the product vision much further, much faster.

In any case, I promise to do at least one post on the fundraising process. It was indeed a huge time sink. If you have any particular questions you'd like me to answer about it, please comment them below and I'll try to either comment back or include them in my post.

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I'm the Founder & CEO of DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn't track you. I'm also the co-author of Traction, the book that helps you get traction. More about me.

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