Mobile Search Firm ChaCha Raises $20 Million

ChaCha, which lets users call or text message a query and receive an answer shortly afterwards, has raised $20 million in a round of funding. The company says it reaches more than 15 million unique users a month via its mobile service as well as its website, and says it’s now the top player in the mobile text search market, ahead of Google (NSDQ: GOOG).

The round comes as investors have shown lots of interest in online question and answer companies. Over the last year, a string of Q&A startups have raised cash, including Quora,, Fluther, Hunch and PeerPong. ChaCha’s new funding — which comes from VantagePoint Venture Partners and Rho Ventures — brings the company’s total backing to $72 million.

The company initially let people communicate with a human guide while searching online but switched strategies in early 2008, moving into the mobile space.