Pinterest is looking to further enhance the usability of its popular visual search and discovery platform and has today announced that it has picked up Jelly, a four-year-old Q&A platform. The financial details of the transaction haven’t been disclosed but it will be an all-stock deal, reports Bloomberg.
Speaking about the acquisition in the official release, Jelly’s co-founder Biz Stone said,
When we talked about Jelly joining forces with Pinterest, things got really interesting. Their mission was astonishingly similar to ours. Human powered search, a subjective search engine, and discovering things you didn’t know you need to know. These are all key to Jelly!
Launched by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and Ben Finkel in 2014, Jelly only went official last year. This was created with the goal of building a social platform where you could ask any question and receive crowdsourced replies. It was then boasted of being a “human-powered search engine” where we could answer queries and help each other out.
Jelly was a lost cause by the time it was launched as the co-founders too weren’t sure what to with their idea — instead of calling it an alternative to Google. They had already pivoted and circled back to this idea twice in two years, before finally deciding to build and launch it. They also took time off this project to build a meme maker called Super, which frankly speaking also failed to grab users.
But, this platform massively failed to attract users and is now taking shelter under Pinterest, to most likely assist in building its visual search products. The details of the merger of the two technology team haven’t been decided as of yet, say the official statement. There is also currently no word on whether Jelly will continue to exist separately and empower humans (a figment of their imagination!) to crowdsource answers.
We’re still working out details, so there are unknowns. Will Jelly remain separate, or integrated somehow? Nevertheless, we are incredibly enthusiastic and certain, that this is the best decision for the future of human-powered search and discovery.
However, there is this one thing that’s happening for sure. Pinterest is onboarding the small team of ten members from Jelly. The co-founders are also joining the company but in certainly different positions and there may be a significant reason for the same. Finkel will work full-time at Pinterest, while Stone will act as a special adviser to co-founder and Chief Product Officer Evan Sharp.
And this may be due to the fact that Stone is an early angel investor in Pinterest (yes! you’re hearing it right!). The acquisition could also be the result of this long-standing relationship between the two tech giants. Pinterest has raised a sum total of $1.3 billion and is valued at over $11.5 billion. This is a decent valuation for a company competing in the social space.
Pinterest currently has a dedicated user base of 150 million monthly active users and is now looking to induce growth by increasing focus on their image search. The company recently brought on board Google Image search veteran Randy Keller to help make their search product better. It has also launched a slew of feature upgrades to its platform, allowing users to highlight elements within the picture, viewed live through your camera or a usual image search, and then initiate a fresh web search related to that element.