Etsy buys Blackbird Technologies to beef up search

Steven Loeb · September 20, 2016 · Short URL:

Blackbird Technologies uses machine learning to delivery better search results

(Update: the article previously inaccurately stated that Etsy had bought Blackbird Technologies from Raytheon, however that was referring to a different company with the same name)

Your search results on Etsy are about to get a whole lot lot smarter, and a whole lot more personalized. 

The company announced on Monday that it acquired Blackbird Technologies, a company that uses machine learning technology to deliver better search relevance and recommendations.

It was revealed that Blackbird's employees, including its co-founders, the company's CEO and CTO, will be joining Etsy.

Blackbird combines images and text using Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence techniques to power capabilities that include natural language processing, image recognition, personalized search, ranking, spelling correction and predictive typeahead.

Etsy made it clear that it wants to incorporate Blackbird's technology to improve its search results, or, as it says in the press release, "to deliver a personalized shopping experience."

"Buyers come to for items they can't find anywhere else and our goal is to help them discover exactly what they want among our 40 million unique listings. Leveraging Blackbird's technology, we believe we can enhance the buyer experience by making search quicker and easier and by surfacing even more relevant, tailored product recommendations," Chad Dickerson, CEO of Etsy, said in a statement.

"Our team has already made substantial enhancements to the search & discovery process onEtsy, especially through features like Exploratory Search, and we are excited for Blackbird's world-class team and technology to accelerate our progress in this key area."

Eventually, the company says, it may also use the technology in other areas that don't involve search, such those "that will help strengthen our markets and seller services platform."

No financial terms of the deal to sell the company to Etsy were disclosed. According to VentureBeat, Blackbird will shut down in the coming months following the deal.

This is Etsy's first acquisition since it went public in April of last year. 

VatorNews reached out to Etsy for more information. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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