Mobile Commerce

Pinterest Acquisition Hints At Larger eCommerce Play

Visual bookmarking company Pinterest has bought two startups in an effort to bolster the reach of its “pins”, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday (Dec. 8). The two acquired companies are The Hunt, which is billed as a “community-powered” shopping service, and Pext, an app that matches images and memes.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed, WSJ said; the two transactions represent the eighth and ninth acquiring deals made by Pinterest.

The publication noted that The Hunt buy may represent a push into the eCommerce market and supports the Pinterest valuation that has garnered the firm an $11 billion market cap. The Hunt itself helps users find products they found through social media and other websites. Through the process, The Hunt users post a photo of something that has piqued interest online, and others link to sites that have the same or similar items for consideration. Under some terms of the transaction that have been ascertained, according to WSJ, The Hunt Chief Executive Officer Tim Weingarten will move to Pinterest. The Hunt has 4 million registered users and has raised $15.5 million from a consortium of investors that included Javelin Venture Partners.

[bctt tweet=”Pinterest’s The Hunt buy may represent a push into the eCommerce market.”]

Pinterest has been looking to broaden its shopping experience, with an eye on buy buttons — which do not generate revenue yet — and an extensive library of more than 50 billion images.

The Pext deal seems to be more about new staffing, said WSJ. The key here is Harsh Goel, Pext cofounder and a specialist in image indexing, who may be coming on board to help Pinterest better its search technology. Pext is a firm that helps users take their text messages and convert them to memes. The Pext platform suggests images as a person is typing.

Pext took its app down from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Stor; The Hunt will shut down its service early next year, WSJ reported.

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