Pinterest to acquire AI shopping app The Yes in fashion bid
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Pinterest has signed a deal to acquire AI-powered shopping app and website The Yes for an undisclosed amount, as the platform aims to strengthen its shopping capabilities by better understanding people’s taste preferences and making purchase recommendations.
Yes CEO and Co-Founder Julie Bornstein will report to Pinterest Co-Founder and CEO Ben Silbermann and lead Pinterest’s buying vision and strategy by creating a new organization dedicated to buying efforts and product recommendations from Pinterest. The 48-person Yes team will also join Pinterest, aside from co-founder and CTO Amit Aggarwal, and within months of the transaction, Pinterest will shut down The Yes.
The Yes was co-founded in 2018 by Bornstein, the former COO of Stitch Fix, and Aggarwal, a search engine expert, with investors including Kirsten Green of Forerunner Ventures, Jon Callaghan of True Ventures and Tony Florence of NEA. It all started as a shopping app for women that used AI to recommend items to people based on their size and taste preferences, responding in real time to user behavior. It has developed a sophisticated fashion taxonomy that can describe and categorize items that are typically difficult to identify in search results. The company has recruited former magazine editor Taylor Tomasi Hill as creative and fashion director and former Google luxury fashion chief Lisa Green as SVP of brand partnerships. .
Yes, which integrates with merchant catalogs and processes all purchase transactions without holding any merchandise, claims to have been able to recruit “hundreds” of merchants. But a delayed launch of a few months after the start of the 2020 pandemic gave it a slower start.
Bornstein says she expected The Yes to be a long-term buy-in and that Pinterest was the right fit. “You are always limited in resources when you are a startup. Everything was working – the company was growing and we learned all these cool things, but the idea of having 400 million users is really exciting. They have such advanced technological resources and incredible computer vision. She adds that current The Yes customers can expect to see “much” of its technology on Pinterest in the future. As part of her new role, Bornstein says features like in-app checkout are planned for Pinterest, which currently drives people to purchase through external links.