Pinterest has inked a “definitive agreement” to acquire high-tech fashion-shopping platform The Yes, the social network announced Thursday.
A pandemic-era start-up founded by former Stitch Fix executive Julie Bornstein and tech industry veteran Amit Aggarwal in 2018, The Yes developed a personalized feed-based shopping platform based on the user’s activity and input on brand, style and size.
One of its signature initiatives has been its work on fashion taxonomy, a method of organizing data across thousands of attributes. Both human and machine-driven, the taxonomy allows its artificial intelligence system to identify and recognize myriad characteristics and nuances of the clothes, accessories and more from its hundreds of brand partners, and “personalize based on that,” as Aggarwal once explained to WWD in a 2020 interview. The work is part of a larger effort to “encode fashion.”
Bornstein elaborated in a 2021 Tech Forum session: “We have rebuilt the architecture of e-commerce to integrate an AI layer into the core technology,” she said then. “This allows us to create a one-to-one neural network with each shopper.”
Pinterest believes that such development will help speed its way to becoming a “home of taste-driven shopping,” the company said in a statement.
“The Yes team are experts in building an end-to-end shopping experience,” said Ben Silbermann, cofounder and chief executive officer of Pinterest, in a statement. “They share our vision of making it simple to find the right products that are personalized for you based on your taste and style.”
The tech company is already eyeing how the start-up’s fashion algorithm and partnerships could apply to other categories, such as home, beauty and food.
That would put Bornstein at the center of Pinterest’s overall commerce strategy. Indeed, once the deal closes, the current CEO of The Yes will become a Pinterest executive in charge of leading the platform’s shopping vision and strategy. She will report directly to Silbermann.
The move means that Pinterest will effectively absorb The Yes and its team. So with no need for the stand-alone app, it will be sunsetted once the acquisition closes, which is expected sometime in the second quarter of 2022.
Other terms of the deal, including acquisition price, were not disclosed.
“I’ve spent my career at the intersection of shopping, fashion and technology and have seen first-hand the valuable impact of building technology that enables brands to join a platform with ease while enabling customers to share their preferences,” Bornstein said.
“Joining forces with Pinterest to broaden our reach utilizing such an inspirational platform is an exciting and ideal next step for our team and technology.”
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