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06/03/2022

Pinterest acquires AI-based shopping platform The Yes

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Pinterest Yes
Pinterest is expanding its e-commerce capabilities.

Pinterest Inc. continues pushing forward with efforts to become a full-fledged e-commerce provider.

The visually-oriented social media network has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Yes, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based shopping platform for fashion that enables users to shop a personalized feed based on their input on brand, style, and size.

The Yes leverages a fashion algorithm based on human expertise and machine learning, which Pinterest can potentially apply to other categories such as home, beauty, and food.

The Yes was founded in 2018 by CEO Julie Bornstein, an e-commerce and fashion industry veteran and CTO, Amit Aggarwal, a tech industry veteran. Over the past several years, The Yes has scaled to provide a personalized daily shopping feed that learns a user’s style as they shop with hundreds of merchants, including global brands and discovery brands across the fashion spectrum.

Upon the closing of the transaction, The Yes CEO Julie Bornstein will report to Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann and will lead shopping vision and strategy across Pinterest, creating a new organization dedicated to taste-driven shopping efforts. The Yes team will join Pinterest following the closing of the transaction.

Pinterest pivots to shopping
Pinterest has been gradually rolling out digital shopping features. For example, in January 2021, the company launchedTry On for Home Decor, a new feature enabling customers to shop for home decor products they find on Pinterest using AR. 

And following the July 2021 rollout of shoppable video pins known as “Idea Pins,” in August 2021 Pinterest released several new offerings aimed at brands and retailers seeking to advertise to its user base. These included an update of Pinterest’s Collections Ads, which enable retailers to select a main asset and a corresponding product group to create a multi-image ad unit. 

Another new Pinterest feature, Merchant Details, enables advertisers to communicate their values with categories including Eco-friendly, Invested in Good, Responsibly Sourced, Personal Touch, and Inclusive. In addition, Pinterest expanded its Verified Merchant Program, which provides enhanced distribution and merchant services to participating sellers that offer quality products and content, accurate metadata, and reasonable shipping and return policies.

[Read more: Pinterest to give special attention to ‘trustworthy’ retailers]

Pinterest has also been experimenting with a feature called Ideas ads with paid partnershipwhich is a new ad format that enables select advertisers to promote shoppable video-based Idea Pins from managed creators.

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

“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,” said Julie Bornstein, founder and CEO of The Yes. “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,”

In the months following the closing of the transaction, Pinterest plans to sunset The Yes app and website to allow the merged teams to focus on technology integration and evolving its shopping strategy. Subject to the satisfaction customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.