Google Shopping Lifts Off As Company Buys Startup

Last month, Google shopping took another step forward when the company bought San Francisco shopping search startup Undecidable Labs under the radar.

The deal has all been very hush-hush, but here’s what we know. The startup basically aims to turn online searches into purchases. This acquisition may point to Google working toward tying its image library into a revenue stream.

Stefanie Kraus, a designer employed by Undecidable Labs, described the startup’s purchase research tool wrote on her website: “The purchase research tool offers education around the product space and allows customers to customize their shortlist based on individual needs and preferences. By introducing a filtering system that takes ‘nice to have’ and ‘ideal’ into consideration, we make sure that the products are presented in a meaningful way.”

While Google has had image search for over 15 years, there has been increased interest its image database since the rise of deep learning AI. Google may want to explore smart image searches for eCommerce. This development is certainly one to keep tabs on.

Google shopping prior to now has seen mixed results. Google Wallet has been slow to catch on — though it recently made its online wallet transfers instant. Undecidable Labs was founded by former Apple director Cathy Edwards, who is now head of engineering and product development for image search at Google. Edwards replaces Li Fan, who previously led engineering efforts for Google image search but left the company in September to work for Pinterest.

Undecidable Labs had received under $1 million in funding at the time of its purchase.