Pinterest acquires AI-based shopping startup The Yes, co-founded by former Stitch Fix exec – TechCrunch

As Pinterest plans to improve the online shopping experience on its platform, the company announced this afternoon that it is acquiring the AI-powered shopping service for fashion known as of The Yes, founded by e-commerce veteran and former Stitch Fix COO Julie Bornstein and technical co-founder, Amit Aggarwal. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the acquisition will help establish a strategic new organization within Pinterest to help drive the company’s buying efforts, including feature development for buyers and retailers, the company said.

The Yes comes at a time when Pinterest is trying to change the way people shop online. While users once relied on Pinterest’s Image Board for inspiration, today they’re more drawn to creator content, videos, and highly personalized feeds. The Yes may be able to help with the latter, given the tech it runs under the hood.

Founded in 2018, The Yes created a personalized daily shopping feed that learns a user’s style while shopping at hundreds of fashion merchants. Primarily focused on women’s fashion – including apparel, handbags and accessories – the app was different from Bornstein’s earlier efforts at Stitch Fix, which included human stylists choosing items to ship to more passive shoppers who wanted to be surprised by new finds in their monthly review. boxes.

The Yes, on the other hand, was aimed at those who browse and shop online more actively. It also offered a wide selection of brands ranging from Gucci, Prada and Erdem to contemporary brands like Vince and Theory, direct-to-consumer brands like Everlane and La Ligne and everyday brands like Levis, like TechCrunch l previously reported.

Interesting to its new acquirer, The Yes had also developed an extensive taxonomy of fashion that used human expertise and machine learning to power its fashion search algorithms. Pinterest has learned that this system could be further developed to expand beyond clothing to reach other popular categories on its site, such as home, beauty and food.

It’s all likely also tied to Pinterest’s growing efforts to attract creators to its platform who now post videos and live streams designed to encourage Pinterest users to buy the products they recommend. As users look at the content and then turn to the Pinterest feed, they could discover more products and the algorithm would get smarter as they browse.

Upon closing of the deal, Pinterest says Bornstein will report directly to Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann and be responsible for leading Pinterest’s vision and buying strategy in her new role as senior vice president. of Shopping at Pinterest. It will also involve creating a new organization dedicated to taste-driven shopping efforts on Pinterest. Additionally, The Yes’ 40-person team will also join Pinterest after the deal closes.

“The Yes team are experts in building an end-to-end shopping experience,” Silbermann said in a statement. “They share our vision of making it easy to find the right products personalized for you based on your taste and style. We’re very excited about The Yes’ talented team and technology as we build dedicated shopping experiences on Pinterest,” he added.

Pinterest saw the deal as a way to bring a combination of high-level talent, expertise and technology to help accelerate its vision of making Pinterest a new home for taste-driven shopping, the company said. at TechCrunch.

“I have spent my career at the intersection of shopping, fashion and technology and have seen firsthand the valuable impact of building technology that allows brands to easily join a platform while by allowing customers to share their preferences,” Bornstein said. “Playing to our strengths with Pinterest to expand our reach using such an inspiring platform is an exciting and ideal next step for our team and our technology.”

Following the acquisition, The Yes will shut down its app and site and focus solely on Pinterest.

The company expects the deal to close in the second quarter of 2022.

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