Apple Looking to Buy Pinterest Rival The Fancy
Despite being the most valuable company in the World, Apple has largely stayed out of the social media world. Reports suggest, however, that they are looking to change that with an acquisition of The Fancy, a site similar to social media darling Pinterest.
The Fancy is a social commerce site that has some strong backers, including cofounders of both Twitter and Facebook.
The aim is to turn the 400 million or so iTunes users that have registered with credit cards into online shoppers via an Apple site. E-commerce is booming, and Apple without doubt wants a piece of the action.
While The Fancy is far smaller than archrival Pinterest, which similarly lets users make lists of things they find interesting, the 20-person New York startup, led by cofounder and CEO Joe Einhorn, is much farther along in linking its users to transactions. The Fancy takes a 10 percent cut of purchases, and unlike with Pinterest, sales via the site are doing very well.
While the rumors are just that at this stage, the suggestion is that Apple is sniffing around the site. CEO Tim Cook met Einhorn at a recent Silicon Valley conference, and despite not being on many other social media sites, he is a member of The Fancy.
After a recent funding round, the site is valued at around $100 million. Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes are on the board, along with LeRoy Kim of Allen & Co. and James Pallotta, the owner of the Boston Celtics. Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the co-founders of venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, are also investors.
Apple has a history of buying companies at a similar stage in their lifecycle as The Fancy, so it would be no surprise at all if a bid arrived shortly. It would fill a gap in their offering, as while the iTunes and App stores have been hugely popular, Apple doesn't have much involvement in general e-commerce.
The Fancy could change all that by giving Apple a clear route to converting people's interest in an object into a sale.