Today, Yahoo announced its acquisition of Polyvore, a leading social commerce site and the largest fashion destination site in the world. Polyvore allows its global user-base to discover new inspiration, express their style, and shop all their favorite lifestyle products in one place.
Polyvore was the first investment I made as a new venture capitalist at Matrix Partners in 2009. We backed a four person founding team who were all software engineers (three were former Yahoo!) and all who had recently rolled out of core roles in developing important web products, including Yahoo Pipes and Google Maps. The basic thesis behind early Polyvore was that (1) lifestyle categories were massive, (2) search as a means for discovery in such categories did not work, and (3) there was an opportunity for a social, community generated platform to fill this void. Since the beginning, this team has continued to build and expand on that basic vision, and today begins the next chapter in Polyvore’s journey.
Polyvore’s strengths are a natural fit with Yahoo’s top strategic priorities. Polyvore provides a huge opportunity for Yahoo to continue building out its native and social arms—core to its “MaVeNS” growth focus (mobile, video, native and social). As a dedicated social shopping platform that knows how to combine technology with community to drive significant value to its advertisers, Polyvore fits nicely into Yahoo’s self-identified focus areas.
Yahoo will also benefit greatly from the Polyvore team joining its ranks, building off of the long-standing relationship between Polyvore CEO and Co-founder, Jess Lee, and Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, who were close colleagues at Google. Polyvore will bring a strong and diverse group of people who have spent years focusing on the very things Yahoo seeks to strengthen in the areas of mobile, native advertising and social. The Polyvore crew delivers a laser focus on building a strong culture and a passionate social community fully engaged with a product that delights. Add in an advertising model focused on 100% native ads from hundreds of advertisers and this acquisition is clearly a strong move in the right direction for Yahoo.
For Polyvore, a company that has been enormously capital efficient and built solely on organic growth, the addition of the Yahoo audience will be a major booster to every core metric. I expect Polyvore will continue getting better, faster, and doing more innovative things that will further enhance the experience for its loyal community.
I’ve been thrilled to have worked with this amazing team over the past six years, and I couldn’t be prouder of all that they have accomplished. It is a great day for them, a great day for Yahoo, and a great day for every current and future member of the Polyvore community.