December 6, 2006
Wikia, which was founded by the same person who launched the Wikipedia community site, announced Wednesday that Amazon.com has made an investment in Wikia. Separately, Wikia reported that it's acquiring online sports community ArmchairGM.
Wikia wouldn't disclose the amount of the Amazon investment, but did say its acquisition of ArmchairGM is valued at more than $2 million. In a statement, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said, "Amazon has always believed in giving the customer as much information as possible so that they can make the purchase that's best for them." He indicated that Wikia's user-generated content will be an asset for Amazon. While the amount of new investment figure wasn't disclosed, Wikia observed that a group of prominent computer industry figures, including Pierre Omidyar, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, Joichi Ito, Josh Kopelman, and Ron Conway, had invested $4 million in the firm earlier this year. The ArmchairGM unit will operate independently of Wikia, although the sports-oriented community's founders will join Wikia as full time employees, Wikia said. Gil Penchina, Wikia CEO, said the firm plans to incorporate some of ArmchairGM's features such as its voting capability into Wikia. "At the same time, we continue to look for other acquisition candidates building off Mediawiki software," he said. Wikia's technology, paced by its Wikipedia online postings, enables visitors to share information widely. Wikia and Wikipedia were both founded by Jimmy Wales. Editor's note: This story was changed to more accurately reflect the relationship between Wikia and Wikipedia.
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