Paoli-based, privacy-focused internet browser DuckDuckGo announced Wednesday that it raised more than $100 million in new investment capital at the end of 2020.
Well, announced isn’t quite the right word: The news was noted by TechCrunch on Wednesday after being shared in a DuckDuckGo blog post earlier that day. Within that blog post, the raise is the blink-and-you-missed-it fourth bullet point in a list shouting out other success such as annual revenues topping $100 million per year, a 55% search traffic increase over the past year and a coming DuckDuckGo desktop app.
The blog post describe the raise as “mainly secondary investment from new & existing investors.” Those investors include Omers Ventures, Thrive, GP Bullhound, Impact America Fund, WhatsApp founder Brian Acton, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, VC and diversity activist Freada Kapor Klein, and entrepreneur Mitch Kapor. Omers Ventures previously led DuckDuckGo’s $10 million round in 2018.
The company, founded by CEO Gabe Weinberg in 2008, has made a name for itself by adhering to a tracker-free privacy standard, blocking ad-tracking cookies and keeping users’ search history private. It’s also one of Philadelphia’s notable consumer-focused growth software companies at scale, alongside unicorn goPuff. (It’s also, fun fact, one of Guru cofounder Rick Nucci’s favorite Philly startups — though “startup” surely doesn’t apply anymore.)
At this scale, the raise will catapult your friendly, privacy-minded search engine into a global conversation about Big Tech supremacy. For example, there have been long discussed rumors of DuckDuckGo being a viable acquisition target for privacy-minded Apple in its competition with Google.