Pinterest picks up the team from smart keyboard app Fleksy

Steven Loeb · June 15, 2016 · Short URL:

Flesky will remain as a stand-alone app, and some of its components will soon be open-sourced

Pinterest has had a very specific acquisition strategy this year so far: it has purchased three companies, all of which have been acqui-hired. 

On Wednesday it was announced that the company has acquired the team behind smart keyboard app Fleksy. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

About half of of the Flesky team, four people. will be coming to work at Pinterest, including Kosta Eleftheriou, the company's founder and CEO. The team will be joining the product engineering team at Pinterest, though the company says that it is too early to say which project they would be working on specifically. 

Founded in 2011 by parent company Syntellia, Fleksy is a virtual keyboard that aims to make typing on a touchscreen as easy and natural as it is on a physical keyboard on a laptop. It first launched in the iOS store as a standalone app for their community of blind users, at a time when 3rd party keyboards were not yet supported on the platform.

Over the years Fleksy has won numerous awards, including the Guinness World Record for fastest typing on a smartphone, the American Foundation for the Blind Access Award and the CES 2013 Design & Engineering. The company also has also since partnered with Yahoo, Samsung and Xiaomi.

While Pinterest is not acquiring the app's technology, Fleksy will continue to run for the foreseeable future. The company will soon open-source some of the app’s accessibility components, which are helpful to the blind and visually impaired community.

"As a tribute to our incredible community of users we have made the decision to open-source some of the Fleksy components that the blind and visually impaired community grew to love. We trust you’ll do great things with it," Eleftheriou wrote in a blog post.

"Pinterest is intensely focused on refining the mobile experiences that make it possible to flow effortlessly through our catalog of ideas — on any device, any place in the world," Scott Goodson, Head of Core Experience at Pinterest, said in a statement provided to VatorNews.

"The Fleksy team is made up of truly noteworthy engineers and  world experts in their areas. These technical artists have a history of developing architecturally innovative, highly optimized software."

Fleksy had raised $5.9 million in venture funding from Digital Garage, Fortify Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Middleland Capital, among others. 

This its twelfth acquisition overall for Pinterest, and its third acqui-hire this year. It first brought over Daniel Nordh, the founder of design app Curator, in April, before hiring the team behind URX, a mobile deeplinking provider, in May.

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