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Quora loses its public face, Marc Bodnick

TechCrunch TechCrunch 26/05/2016 Josh Constine

Quora’s been at the Q&A game for 7 years now but still is only starting to monetize. It’s growing, but momentum could take a hit tonight as long-time head of business and community Marc Bodnick is leaving to return to the investing world or found his own startup.

Bodnick tells me “I’m ready to be part of something that I start, or that I start with others.” He gave a positive projection of the business, saying “The company’s just getting bigger and delivering more audience for people who write. As big as the company’s gotten, it’s still a very safe and civil place to answer questions.”

Bodnick writes that he’ll remain loosely connected to the company, writing on Quora “I’ll be staying on as an advisor to the company on stuff like [BD and community]. And I might help Nadia Singer — Quora’s Head of Outreach — keep bringing on more session hosts like Hillary Clinton and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.”

After original Quora co-founder Charlie Cheever left, Bodnick shouldered the responsibility for press and marketing while CEO Adam D’Angelo led. His recent work bringing in famous public figures like Sheryl Sandberg for Quora’s Ask Me Anything-style “Writing Sessions” has helped juice user growth. Clinton’s recent session brought in a record 12 million views.

Bodnick was known for passionately extolling the importance of Quora for posterity, and the joys of spontaneous curiosity that the site fueled.

The Harvard and Stanford grad formerly worked as an investor. Bodnick was co-founder and managing director of Elevation Partners, a VC fund connected with Bono of U2. There he led a $100 million investment in Yelp and sat on its board until joining Quora.

The Q&A startup’s up-vote/down-vote interface is finally starting to feature advertising. D’Angelo tells me “We have a whole bunch of advertisers that are live now and we’re adding more every week. The early tests have gone very well.”

Quora has seemed passive about monetizing, relying on its $150 million in venture capital that its been slowly burning. Though it might be the clear leader in its subjective knowledge base market, investors have to be wondering when Quora’s business will actually get into gear.

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