Wordnik, the online dictionary site which has been under some controversy due to this NYT story last weekend about its P.R. strategy, has raised $3.7 million in funding, according to an SEC filing just filed. The site, based in Chicago and started by Erin McKean, former editor in chief for American Dictionaries at Oxford University Press, has previously said it had funding from Roger McNamee (of Elevation Partners but he invested personally in this), and Steve Anderson of Baseline Ventures, but hand’t disclosed the amount. According to the filing, that amount is now at $3.7 million, from a total of nine investors. No word on who the other investors are.
As for the site, it is a combination online dictionary which aggregates more than just word meanings: it includes context of the word, including usage and from Project Gutenberg and Wikipedia, Twitter feeds and Flickr photos that include the word being looked up, and also allows users to add their own meaning and context to the words, with the idea being it would be a lot more up to date than other competing dictionary sites. Cute idea, relatively niche audience. Would be interesting if they were to cut a deal with Google or any other search engine for definitions (currently Google uses Answers.com (NSDQ: ANSW) by default, and throws a lot of traffic there, but there is no formal deal between the two companies).
By Rafat Ali