The venture capital arm of a Canadian pension fund just led a $10-million round into Paoli, Pa.-based DuckDuckGo, the privacy-minded search engine founded 10 years ago by Gabriel Weinberg.
Per Weinberg, who’s also an angel investor, the funds will help grow the company’s current headcount of 51 and increase its global footprint.
“We are hiring globally, better tuning our search engine results for local markets, and expanding the channels we use to market DuckDuckGo to have more of a global focus,” Weinberg told the Inquirer.
As part of the deal, OMERS Ventures will have a non-controlling share in DuckDuckGo, which says it has been profitable since 2014 and had only taken on $3 million in institutional capital prior to this round.
The company has made a name for itself by adhering to a tracker-free privacy standard, blocking ad-tracking cookies and keeping users search history private. So how does the company make money? There’s no secret formula. Similar to other websites and social networking sites, DuckDuckGo runs ads.
Increased concerns over privacy — particularly around scandals like the NSA surveillance program — have been good for business. Around the time when Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica leak came around, the search engine logged its all-time high daily search record, at an impressive 25.5 million searches.
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