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JustAnswer

JustAnswer

JustAnswer is a San Francisco-based company founded in 2003.

JustAnswer is an online question and answer site that connects customers with experts.

The company was founded in 2003 by Andy Kurtzig. Kurtzig came up with the idea for JustAnswer so that his then-pregnant wife could talk to a doctor anytime she wanted.

Kurtzig sought to bring some percentage of the professional services market online so users could get advice faster and more cheaply than they could on their own. The company grew without outside cash or support until 2011.Users can connect with one of 12,000 experts on the JustAnswer site. After users send their question to "Pearl", an automated assistant, an appropriate expert has a chance to review the conversation before responding. Users might answer a few follow-up questions from "Pearl", and then they get connected with an expert in an appropriate field. The messaging system allows users to send photos as well as text.

Experts must have recognized credentials in their fields, such as a professional license or years of experience working in a particular specialty. Experts have their backgrounds checked and have to go through an eight-step process to qualify to serve JustAnswer users. After an expert is approved, he or she is subject to customer ratings, peer reviews and secret shoppers. JustAnswer uses an algorithm to remove experts failing to meet certain standards set by an advisory board.

JustAnswer’s Board of Directors includes Charles Schwab; Sandy Robertson, founder of Robertson, Stephens & Company and Montgomery Securities in Silicon Valley; Larry Sonsini, partner of Silicon Valley law firm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; and Bob Finocchio, who was CEO of Informix, President of 3Com and is currently a Director of Broadcom. Former Rolm founder Ken Oshman, who died in 2011, was also on the board.

JustAnswer is operational in 196 countries, 22 currencies and 4 languages. There are no ads on the site.

In 2004 the company changed its name from ExpertAsk to JustAnswer and established its headquarters in the Presidio of San Francisco, California. In 2012 the company received $25 million in Series A funding from Glynn Capital and Charles Schwab, along with other angel investors. In 2017, JustAnswer introduced “Pearl,” a virtual assistant to answer simple questions and qualify leads for the experts. Pearl was in beta testing for three years and was trained on 16 million questions and answers in the company’s database. The bot can recognize more than 100,000 variables in conversation, ask context-specific follow-up questions and operate as an intelligent routing engine.

Timeline

October 2012
JustAnswer raises a $25,700,000 series B round from Charles Schwab Corporation, Crosslink Capital and Glynn Capital Management.
June 2012
JustAnswer raises a $25,000,000 series A round from Charles R. Schwab and Glynn Capital Management.

Funding Rounds

Patents

Further Resources

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News

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USA TODAY
April 9, 2020
USA TODAY
As sheltering in place stretches into weeks for many, anxiety, isolation, stress and cabin fever are common. There's free mental health help online.

References

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