Yahoo Buys Polyvore Shopping Service
Polyvore, the world’s largest style community with over 20 million unique monthly visitors recently announced they will be joining Yahoo’s network.
Yahoo anticipates Polyvore will accelerate Yahoo’s digital content growth strategy across the areas of social, mobile and native.
The Polyvore team will be joining Yahoo, working out of their company offices in New York, Sunnyvale and San Francisco.
Yahoo paid approximately 200 million for Polyvore – and agreed to an additional 40 million in retention payments.
Founded in 2007, Polyvore is a shopping site where users can give and get styling ideas.
Polyvore provides brands and retailers a way to connect with influential consumers and drive sales through native advertising solutions.
According to the press release, “On Polyvore, users put together sets of clothing, accessories, and lifestyle goods that express their love for style and shopping in a compelling, digital, social setting.”
“In addition to natural integrations with Yahoo Style and Yahoo Beauty, Polyvore’s strong media experience, where community-powered content is curated and actionable for shoppers, will enhance the full portfolio of Yahoo’s digital magazines and verticals.”
“When it comes to advertising, Polyvore’s technology will bring a proven native ad model, new compelling native ad formats, and strong advertising relationships with more than 350 retailers to Yahoo’s fast-growing native advertising platform, Yahoo Gemini.”
The Polyvore site will continue to operate as it is, while Yahoo plans to integrate the fashion community into their other channels including Yahoo Style and Yahoo Beauty.
Users will still be able to access Polyvore and utilize the site as before but the hope is Yahoo will elevate their resources, add new product features and introduce new special offers for loyal members.
“I’m delighted to join Yahoo. Our core mission of empowering people to feel good about their style will remain the same, but with Yahoo’s help we’ll be able to make Polyvore even bigger and better for our user community,” said Jess Lee, Co-Founder and CEO, Polyvore.
“I’m also excited that we’ll be able to deliver more scale to our advertisers by integrating our ad offerings into Yahoo Gemini.”
You could say Lee and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer have some history (Lee previously participated in the associate product manager program at Google with Mayer.)
According to an interview, after Lee expressed some hesitation for a career at Google, Mayer told her, “You should always take the more challenging path. When you have different options, you should choose the thing that looks like it will be more difficult, because that usually turns out to be the right choice.”
This advice is what eventually prompted Lee to leave Google for Polyvore.
We asked Lewis Brannon, Retail Search Manager about his reaction to the agreement between Yahoo and Polyvore:
Do you anticipate Polyvore will be able to improve under Yahoo’s leadership?
“It’s really difficult to predict based on the track record of Yahoo with similar acquisitions. Of the litany of deals that have occurred since Marissa Mayer took the helm, none have been a clear home run in terms of product improvements.”
“You can point to examples like Tumblr, Blink, LittleInc, and others and see that none stand out in terms of having been ignited under Yahoo’s direction.”
“I think perhaps the opposite will prove true – that Yahoo will be improved as a result of the acquisition, as it will benefit from having Polyvore’s talented CEO, Jess Lee, and its team of talented engineers join the ranks.”
What areas do you think Yahoo will have the most impact on Polyvore?
“Marissa Mayer and Jess Lee actually have an interesting past together. It was Mayer who first brought Lee, a Hong-Kong born Stanford grad, into the fold as a product manager at Google back in 2004. So this will not be the first time that Lee has reported to Mayer. This familiarity and comfort will allow them to seamlessly collaborate and join forces to drive Polyvore’s growth.”
“Yahoo and its network sites have long been a preeminent player in display and search advertising, and it knows how to maneuver deals with top brands. As Polyvore adoption grows, other top brands will join the likes of J Crew and Neimann Marcus in jockeying for ad space on the site and app. Yahoo’s expertise in negotiating deals with these brands will give Polyvore a leg-up in terms of maximizing profitability.”
According to Brannon, “It will be interesting to follow how Polyvore continues to develop.”
“Social commerce is absolutely a growing industry, and Polyvore is one of the early leaders in the space. I view this as a smart move by Yahoo, and I would predict that rather than imposing their framework upon it, they’ll allow Polyvore to innovate at its own pace.”