Yahoo To Acquire Social Commerce Powerhouse Polyvore

ComFirst Facebook bought TheFind. Then Twitter grabbed TellApart. Now Yahoo wants a piece of the ecommerce pie.

The company revealed late Friday its acquisition of Polyvore, a social shopping site founded in 2007 by former Yahoo engineer Pasha Sadri. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Although it preceded Pinterest by three years, Polyvore’s audience is only about half the size of Pinterest’s 50 million monthly unique users.

Despite that fact, co-founder and CEO Jess Lee, who hailed from Google, was credited with developing a successful cost-per-click model for brands looking to connect products (or outfits) with style-centric consumers.

“Polyvore has built an excellent team, a category leading product and a strong business based on a highly engaged community,” said Simon Khalaf, Yahoo’s SVP of publisher products, in a statement. “The combination of Yahoo’s industry-leading digital content with Polyvore’s expertise in community and commerce has outstanding potential. We are thrilled to have the Polyvore team join us.”

Among the drivers of the deal may have been Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s maniacal focus on the “N” in the company’s MaVeNS  (Mobile, Video, Native, Social) formula for revenue growth, as well as her focus on digital magazines and “verticals” like Yahoo Style and Beauty. 

Polyvore develops what it calls “community-powered content,” and recently rolled out an advertiser tool called Promoted Trends with tie-ins to organic content. This launch piggybacked on Polyvore’s release of Promoted Products, an ad unit unveiled in 2013 that featured sponsored products in-feed that users can click to purchase on a retail partner’s site.

“The majority of our business is driven by our Promoted Products program, where we’re driving an average return on ad spend (ROAS) of 6:1, which we’ve found is very competitive,” Polyvore’s chief operating officer, Arnie Gullov-Singh, told AdExchanger in an earlier interview.

“The average ROAS on Google Shopping is about 4:1,” he said, adding “the average ROAS on social platforms is about 2:1, so we’ve found it’s been pretty competitive for retailers who are looking for solutions in social media.”

Polyvore also developed a mobile app dubbed Remix, where users curate close to 3 million outfits per month between it and Polyvore’s site.

Yahoo Gemini will be the immediate beneficiary of Polyvore’s “proven native ad model” – and its stable of 350 retail brand advertisers – according to the company. Upon the acquisition’s close, all Polyvore products and services will remain operational, the company claimed.


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