Stack Overflow Raises $12M, Now Called Stack Exchange

Question and answer site Stack Overflow has been on a tear, as we recently reported in a profile of the company. The site supports 45 vertical categories for questions, relaunched a career site and now has $12 million in new funding and a new name to boast about.

The New York-based startup said late last night it has raised a Series B funding round from new investors Index Ventures and Spark Capital along with original investor Union Square Ventures. The new capital follows a $6 million first round in May last year from investors Ron Conway, Chris Dixon, Caterina Fake, Naval Ravikant, Nirav Tolia, Joshua Schachter, Micah Siegel, and Bob Pasker.

Along with the new money, the company has also changed its name to Stack Exchange Inc., which was previously the name of its network of sub-sites covering more than 40 different areas including things like English, photography and cooking. The original name came from the programming term, which was where the company began its focus: as a destination for coders. But now, the company is clearly signaling that its future is much broader than programming and that its model can work for many more areas.

The newly renamed Stack Exchange has surged because of its very ordered way of answering questions. It works by focusing on specific verticals and building up experts within those areas who can answer incoming queries. The result is an impressive answer rate of more than 80 percent overall, and in some vertical subject areas, well over 90 percent. That has translated into a lot of users. Last month, the site hit 19 million users to crack Quantcast’s list of top 300 sites.

CEO and founder Joel Spolsky didn’t exactly say what the new money will be used for, joking instead that the company is now planning on buying more t-shirts, snacks and a ping-pong table. But it’s a good bet the company will be growing its team as it adds more vertical sites to Stack Exchange, which is approving a new site a week. Stack Overflow was profitable last year before it launched Stack Exchange. It expects to raise money through advertising and through its updated career site, which will match its experts with jobs.

It’s unclear what Stack Exchange is valued at, but the company is clearly on a roll. If Quora, the darling of Silicon Valley, is worth an estimated $300 million or more, Stack Exchange, which is bigger according to Alexa and Compete, is likely worth more. And with its latest funding, it’s showing no signs of letting up.

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