Amazon invests in Wikia

Amazon.com has invested in the jointly edited Web site Wikia, an offshoot of popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

Amazon's interest in Wikia follows a $4 million Series A round of funding made in the company earlier this year by prominent private investors, including Ron Conway and Netscape founder Marc Andreessen. San Mateo, Calif.-based Wikia, started in 2004 by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, allows people to post, share and edit information on a range of subjects through software known as wikis. The site is designed to cover topics outside the domain of an encyclopedia, such as travel guides, sports or iPods.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the investment is about giving shoppers the ability to share more information. "We want to support the continued growth of sites like Wikia, which has cracked the code for user-generated content," Bezos said in a statement.

The two companies did not announce plans to integrate services, but Wales said that through the partnership, Amazon will help Wikia reach more people. With the funds, Wikia plans to update its software with better spam prevention and tools to manage the community of posters.

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