Pinterest acqui-hires mobile deeplinking provider URX

Steven Loeb · May 3, 2016 · Short URL:

The team will be working on content related projects, including Search and Discovery

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Pinterest, perhaps more than any other social network I can think of, is reliant on providing users with the best content. If users can't easily find things to Pin, then there's no network, and no advertising dollars.

That is why the company has acqui-hired the team behind URX, a mobile deeplinking provider, it was revealed on Tuesday. No financial terms of the deal have been disclosed. Reports of this acquisition first surfaced in early April. 

URX's mission was "to create seamless, interconnected mobile experiences by helping people discover content inside apps," URX co-founder and CEO John Milinovich wrote in a blog post.

The company's main product, AppViews, was used to extract information from a page to understand what a person is interested in, using an index of mobile content to predict what they would want to do next. The technology then engaged users with relevant, product-level content and provides them with the shortest path to purchase via deep linking.

As per the deal, URX will be sunsetting URX’s AppViews immediately. While the company will not be incorporating any of URX's technology, it will be using the its team's expertise to help Pinterest users discover more content.

About half the company is joining Pinterest on the product management, engineering and partnerships teams, while Milinovich will join Pinterest as a product manager.

He, and URX team, will be working on content related projects across the organization, including Search & Discovery, where Pinterest seeks to develop a rich understanding of pins based on the data behind them; and Rich Pins, where Pinterests want to help people take action on the Pins they discover.

"As we learned more about Pinterest's mission of helping people discover and do the things they love, it was clear that we share a similar view of the future. Discovery is one of the largest problems and opportunities on the web, and Pinterest is well positioned to solve it at an unprecedented scale," wrote Milinovich.

"The URX team are experts at understanding the content on a webpage, coming up with recommendations to the user based on what's on that page, and deep linking from the page to the relevant app where the user can act on the content," Malorie Lucich, Head of Product Communications at Pinterest, explained to me.

"We're focused on better understanding of the kind of content people pin, recommending the best content based on what they're pinning, and creating seamless actionable experiences for people when they want to click through the Pin and do something."

Founded in 2013, URX had raised $15.1 million in venture funding, most recently a $12 million round in May of 2014, which valued it at $40 million. Investors included Accel Partners with First Round Capital, Google Ventures and SV Angel. 

This its eleventh acquisition overall for Pinterest, and its second acqui-hire in just the last few weeks, bringing over Daniel Nordh, the founder of design app Curator, last month. 

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