Pinterest to acquire AI shopping app The Yes in fashion bid - Upsmag - Magazine News

Pinterest to acquire AI shopping app The Yes in fashion bid

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Pinterest has signed an agreement to acquire AI-informed shopping app and website The Yes for an undisclosed sum as the platform aims to build up its shopping capabilities by better understanding people’s taste preferences and making purchase recommendations.

The Yes CEO and co-founder Julie Bornstein will report to Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann and will lead the shopping vision and strategy across Pinterest by creating a new organization dedicated to Pinterest’s shopping efforts and product recommendations. The Yes team of 48 will also join Pinterest, aside from co-founder and CTO Amit Aggarwal, and in the months following the transaction, Pinterest will shutter 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 Forerunner Ventures’s Kirsten Green, True Ventures’s Jon Callaghan and NEA’s Tony Florence. It began as a women’s shopping app that used AI to recommend items to people based on their size and taste preferences, responding in real time to user behaviour. It developed a sophisticated fashion taxonomy that can describe and classify items that are typically difficult to identify in search results. The company recruited former magazine editor Taylor Tomasi Hill as creative and fashion director and Google’s former head of luxury fashion Lisa Green as SVP of brand partnerships.

The Yes, which integrates with merchant catalogues and processes the full transaction of purchases without holding merchandise, says it was able to recruit “hundreds” of merchants. But a delayed launch a few months into the 2020 pandemic gave it a slower start.

Bornstein says that she had expected The Yes might be acquired in the long-term, and that Pinterest was the right fit. “You’re always resource-constrained when you are a startup. Everything was working — the business was growing and we learned all these interesting things, but the thought of having 400 million users is really exciting. They have such deep tech resources and amazing computer vision.” She adds that current The Yes customers can expect to see “a lot” of its technology in Pinterest going forward. As part of her new role, Bornstein says that features such as in-app checkout are planned for Pinterest, which currently directs people to purchase via outside links.

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