Pinterest Is Buying The Yes

·3 min read

The AI-powered e-commerce platform co-founded by Stitch Fix alum Julie Bornstein launched in May 2020.

<p>Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest</p>

Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest

Pinterest is acquiring The Yes, the AI-powered e-commerce platform co-founded by Stitch Fix alum Julie Bornstein, the company announced on Thursday.

The Yes officially launched as an app in May 2020 with Bornstein (who worked at Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters and Sephora before joining Stitch Fix as Chief Operating Officer) as CEO and fashion industry veteran Taylor Tomasi Hill as creative and fashion director, following 18 months of development and having raised $30 million in funding from a group of investors that included Forerunner Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and True Ventures, per Tech Crunch. (In a January 2022 interview with Glossy's Jill Manoff, Bornstein said the company had raised $40 million in total.) Its big draw was the curated shopping experience tailored to each customer's style and brand preferences by its algorithm.

"Ultimately what we've built is sort of a next-generation shopping platform where we have a very large brand assortment," Borstein told Harvard Business School senior lecturer Jill Avery in a recent episode of the Cold Call podcast. "Our goal is to have the largest of branded fashion... and for the consumer to be able to come in and answer some quick and fairly straightforward but high-signal questions that help us understand her. The entire platform and shopping experience adapts to each user, so every customer is shopping a store built around them."

Since its debut, The Yes has grown its roster of designers to cover everything from luxury to mass market, from Prada and Bottega Veneta to Khaite and Altuzarra to Madewell and Staud. It introduced a website in July 2021. Earlier this year, it started a loyalty program.

The terms of the deal — which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022 — weren't disclosed. Once its done, Borstein will report to Ben Silbermann, the co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, and "lead shopping vision and strategy across Pinterest, creating a new and strategic organization dedicated to Pinterest's taste-driven shopping efforts that will help steer the evolution of features for Pinners and merchants on Pinterest," according to a press release. The rest of The Yes' team will join Pinterest, too, and that the company will shut down the app.

"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," Borstein said, in a statement. "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."

Pinterest's Silbermann added: "The Yes team are experts in building an end-to-end shopping experience. 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' talented team and technology as we build dedicated shopping experiences on Pinterest."

This is the second bit of retail acquisition news to drop this week: On Wednesday, Dia & Co. announced it was buying plus-size luxury e-tailer 11 Honoré.

Never miss the latest fashion industry news. Sign up for the Fashionista daily newsletter.