Polyvore

Polyvore
Polyvore logo.svg
Available in English
Owner SSENSE
Parent Yahoo! (2015–2017)
Oath Inc. (2017–2018)
SSENSE (acquired April 2018)
Website polyvore.com
Alexa rank Increase 1195[1]
Users 20 million
Launched February 1, 2007
Current status Closed

Polyvore was a community-powered social commerce website headquartered in Mountain View, California.[2] The company's virtual mood board function allowed community members to add products into a shared product index, and use them to create image collages called "Sets".[3] They could also browse other users' sets for inspiration, share sets with friends and interact with people through comments and likes.[4] Due to the visual nature of the tool Polyvore was mostly used to build sets in the fields of home decoration, beauty and fashion.[5] Online retailers, too, could upload their product images to Polyvore and link back to their product pages[6] or use Polyvore to encourage users to showcase their products through such activities as board creation competitions.[7] Polyvore opened an office in New York City in August 2012. At that point the company said it had amassed 17 million active users.[8] By the end of 2012 the company said its site was receiving 20 million unique visitors per month,[9] a number which continued to be used in 2016.[10][11] The site was bought by SSENSE and, on April 5, 2018 it was completely shut down.

Polyvore was initially funded in three rounds by six investors, including initial investors Benchmark Capital and Harrison Metal, and Matrix Partners and DAG Ventures as lead investors in later rounds. It was acquired by Yahoo on July 31, 2015.

On April 5, 2018, Polyvore announced that it had been acquired by SSENSE and would cease operations immediately. Users wishing to save their account data were directed to a request form on the Polyvore blog.

History[]

Polyvore started as a prototype developed by Pasha Sadri in August 2006.[12] While he and his wife were decorating their new house, they found themselves cutting furniture ideas and color patches out of magazines and assembling them into inspiration boards. While this tried and tested approach worked, Sadri, an engineer at Yahoo, felt that it would be better if the mood boards could be created online. He used Yahoo Pipes, one of the tools he had created, as a basis to build the first iteration of Polyvore.[13] Soon after its creation, fellow Yahoo engineers Jianing Hu and Guangwei Yuen joined Sadri to form the founding team, which launched the first version of the website in 2007.[13] Polyvore Inc. was formed in August of the same year.[citation needed] The company received US$2.5 million in series A funding from Benchmark and Harrison Metal in December 2007.[14]

In August 2009, Polyvore reached four million unique visitors, 150 million pageviews a month, and received US$5.6 million in series B funding led by Matrix Partners, alongside previous investors Benchmark Capital and Harrison Metal Capital.[14][15]

The New Yorker profiled Polyvore in March 2010, calling it a “fashion democracy” and a “world of virtual Anna Wintours”. At the time, Polyvore received 6.6 million unique visitors.[16] An increase in inquiries from e-commerce companies led Polyvore to experiment with ways to monetise their users through such things as affiliate marketing and sponsored board creating competitions.[13]

Polyvore reached profitability in 2011, largely through the use of affiliate links. As each item in a Polyvore set already links back to the page where it was clipped, entering into affiliate partnerships that generate revenue for the company when users click on those links was not a big step. And unlike many other affiliate sites that had to manually update links when retailers changed their site structure, Polyvore invested in software bots that rewrote links that changed and ensured that its links always pointed to the most up-to-date product page.[13] The company's product-centric, tech-led approach, coupled with its highly engaged user base, seemed to be the key to success leading Colleen Taylor of GigaOm to state: "Polyvore’s product-first strategy seems to be paying off: an eighth of Polyvore’s audience comes back to the site more than 100 times per month."[17] For that same year, Polyvore was named in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Most Brilliant Companies list,[18] and as number 29 of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Websites.[19]

Polyvore received US$14 million in Series C funding from DAG Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Matrix, and Vivi Nevo in January 2012,[14][20] bringing its total venture capital-backing to $22 million as of January 2012.[14]

Shortly afterward, in February 2012, Polyvore partnered with CoverGirl to launch "Polyvore Live", a live-streamed fashion show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, that showcased the collections of four alumni from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Lauren Bagliore, Vengsarkar “Ven” Budhu, Sergio Guadarrama, and Dana-Maxx Pomerantz.[21] The project also involved collaborations with a number of fashion and beauty bloggers, including Aimee Song of Song of Style, Nadia Sarwar of Frou Frouu, Christian Caradona of Trop Rouge, and Julie Sarinana of Sincerely Jules.[22] That same year, Polyvore was named by Fast Company as number 28 of its 50 Most Innovative Companies of the year.[23]

In August 2012, Polyvore opened its first New York office, in SoHo, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg issuing a personal welcome: "By opening an office here, Polyvore is joining the growing group of tech companies who recognize that the benefits of being in New York City are irresistible, regardless of where a startup began."[24] In November 2012, the company launched its inaugural iOS app, and Polyvore's website achieved a 19 million monthly unique visitor count.[25]

By May 2014, over three million members had downloaded the Polyvore iPhone app and the company was reporting 20 million unique visitors per month; in that month, the company launched its first Android app.[26] A year later, in April 2015, Polyvore launched its second iPhone app called Remix. Unlike the main Polyvore app, which is aimed at 'creators', users looking to assemble their own style boards, Remix helps those who want to be inspired by others' creations by using the company's wide pool of data points to allow users to discover popular items or sets, match their favourites with undiscovered pieces into complete outfits and bookmark these into favorites.[27]

On July 31, 2015, Yahoo and Polyvore announced that Yahoo would acquire Polyvore for an undisclosed amount to augment its e-commerce operations.[28] According to Eric Jackson, manager of hedge fund SpringOwl, Yahoo purchased Polyvore for $230M,[29] a figure also quoted by Bloomberg.[30]


Leadership[]

Polyvore was envisioned as a product and service by Pasha Sadri in August 2006 while he and his wife were remodelling their house and were looking to create digital mood boards to help with their decorating choices.[12][31] He was soon joined by Jianing Hu and Guangwei Yuen, two software engineers he had met while they all worked at Yahoo, and the trio launched of the first version of the website in 2007.[5][32]

In its first year of creation, Jess Lee, a product manager at Google and an early Polyvore fan and user, emailed Sadri with a set of product suggestions,[31] and, as Sadri explained in 2013: "The email was unlike any feedback we’d ever gotten ... It was a two-page-long analysis, detailing 'this is broken, we can fix it this way.'"[32] In a July 2013 feature in Wired, Lee described herself as an "obsessive user" prior to her recruitment, and described her interest and motivation: “Influencers in fashion right now are a cliquey club in New York that’s very hard to get into,” making it hard for others to shape the trends.[13] Lee joined the company within nine months of her first visit, would rise through the ranks to become CEO,[31] and is now listed as a founder of the company.[14] Lee played a role in attracting its eventual buyer, Yahoo, as she had business relations with the company's then CEO, Marissa Mayer, who had recruited her during her period at Google.[28]

At the time of its acquisition, Lee was listed as Co-Founder and CEO, Pasha Sadri as Co-Founder and Director, Arnie Gullov-Singh as COO, and Guangwei Yuan and Jianing Hu as Co-Founders.[33]

Traffic[]

In August 2012 Polyvore was receiving 17 million unique monthly visitors, and as of July 2013, traffic of 20 million visitors per month.[24][34] In May 2014, the company was reported to be receiving 20 million unique visitors per month.[26] Hence, between August 2009 and May 2014, the number of monthly unique visitors increased from 4 million to 20 million.[15][26]

Alternatives[]

Polyvore was acquired by SSENSE, a Montreal-based online retailer, and shut down — a decision that SSENSE confirmed was final last week. Founded in 2007, Polyvore gave users the tools to create collages of clothing, beauty, and home products, and in doing so, created a community of people getting creative and following each others’ work. Now there are many alternatives to Polyvore, such as URSTYLE, IQon, TrendMe, ShopLook, and Stylevore.[35][36][37]

References[]

  1. ^ Alexa.com (2015). "Alexa Web Traffic: Polyvore.com -". Alexa Internet (online, December 3). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "An Exclusive Look Inside Polyvore's Mountain View Headquarters". Officelovin'. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  3. ^ "How to Make a Collage on Polyvore". Instructables.com. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  4. ^ Fashion. "Fab Site: Polyvore.com". POPSUGAR Fashion. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  5. ^ a b "Polyvore For Business | Is It For You?". Online Marketing Genies. 2014-12-02. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  6. ^ "Polyvore: Why Personalized Social Shopping Apps Matter - CPC Strategy". www.cpcstrategy.com. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  7. ^ Agathou, Amalia (2011-02-17). "The Rise Of Polyvore: Trendsetting Goes Social". The Next Web. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  8. ^ "Social commerce site Polyvore reaches 20M users". 20 December 2012. 
  9. ^ http://socialmediastrategiessummit.com/blog/for-ecommerce-companies-it-pays-to-know-polyvore/
  10. ^ "19 Amazing Polyvore Statistics". DMR. 2015-08-02. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  11. ^ "Polyvore Statistics Show Rise Of Social Giant". ReadyCloud. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  12. ^ a b http://www.masoninteractive.com/blog-social-shopping-site-polyvore-com-leads-in-social-commerce-retail-conversion/
  13. ^ a b c d e Tate, Ryan. "How One Startup Found Success by Making an Obsessive User Its CEO". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  14. ^ a b c d e CrunchBase.com (2015). "Polyvore Company Profile". CrunchBase (online, December 3). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Siegler, M.G. (2009). "Polyvore Looks Stylin' In This New $5.6 Million Round Of Funding". TechCrunch (online, August 18). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  16. ^ Jacobs, Alexandra (2010). "Fashion Democracy: The World of Virtual Anna Wintours". The New Yorker (print and online, March 29). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  17. ^ Taylor, Colleen (2011). "Now Profitable, Polyvore Strikes a Pose as Top Fashion Site". GigaOm (online, June 9). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  18. ^ Wang, Jennifer (2011). "How Polyvore Became a Trend-Setter in Social Shopping". Entrepreneur (online, May 23). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  19. ^ McCracken, Harry (2011). "The 50 Best Websites of 2011". Time (online, August 16). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  20. ^ Rao, Leena (2012). "Virtual Styling And Fashion Community Polyvore Raises $14M From DAG Ventures, Goldman Sachs And Others". TechCrunch (online, January 23). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  21. ^ "Polyvore Live :: CoverGirl Blogger Fashion Show". Vimeo. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  22. ^ "Fashion Blogger Fashion Show". Refinery29. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  23. ^ Schomer, Stephanie (2012). "28: Polyvore, For Turning Everyone Into A Fashion Editor". Fast Company (online, February 7). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  24. ^ a b Taylor, Colleen (2012). "Fashion-Focused Startup Polyvore, 17M Monthly Uniques Strong, Opens Up NYC Office". TechCrunch (online, August 10). Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  25. ^ Taylor, Coleen (2012). "Style Site Polyvore Debuts Its First Ever iPhone App, Touts Cash Flow Positive Operations". TechCrunch (online, November 27). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  26. ^ a b c Perez, Sarah (2014). "Style-Focused Community And Shopping Service Polyvore Arrives On Android". TechCrunch (online, May 9). Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  27. ^ Perez, Sarah. "Polyvore Launches Remix, A New App For Style Advice And Shopping | TechCrunch". Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  28. ^ a b Brandom, Russell (2015). "Yahoo Acquires Fashion Commerce Site Polyvore". The Verge. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  29. ^ Kosoff, Maya (2015). "Hedge funder slams Yahoo: It is unacceptable to pay $230 million for zombie companies run by former Googlers". Business Insider (online, Dec 14). Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  30. ^ "Yahoo to Pay $230 Million for Shopping Site Polyvore". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  31. ^ a b c Roberts, Daniel. "How Jess Lee of Polyvore got her start". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  32. ^ a b "Jess Lee: How She Became the CEO and Saved Polyvore". The Hustle. 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2017-08-28. 
  33. ^ Bloomberg.com (2015). "Internet Software and Services: Company Overview of Polyvore, Inc". BloombergBusinessweek (online, December 3). Retrieved 3 December 2015. [better source needed]
  34. ^ Tate, Ryan (2013). "How One Startup Found Success by Making an Obsessive User Its CEO". Wired (online, July 25). Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  35. ^ "Stylevore - The Best Alternative to Polyvore Is Here!". Gymbuddy Now. 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-08-09. 
  36. ^ "Where Will All the Polyvore Fans Go?". Racked. Retrieved 2018-08-09. 
  37. ^ "URSTYLE.com Develops Social Commerce Community in Wake of Polyvore Shutdown". Retrieved 2018-09-05. 

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