Ebay acquires Hunch to make ecommerce personalized

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Recommendation Engine Hunch.com has been acquired by eBay. Hunch is an online platform launched in 2009 that delivers customized recommendations to its users based on their individual tastes. Reports pegged the acquisition at $80 million. eBay buyers are expected to benefit from Hunch’s predictive ability to generate meaningful, yet often non-obvious, recommendations for items available on eBay based on their specific tastes.“With Hunch, we’re adding new capabilities to personalizing the shopping experience on eBay to the individual relevant tastes and interests of our customers. We expect Hunch’s technologies to benefit eBay shoppers as they browse and buy, and to bring sellers on eBay new ways to connect the right products with the right customers.”said Mark Carges, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, Global Products, Marketplaces.

Hunch uses inputs from across the Web including social networks, things members like, who they follow, and answers to Hunch’s own questions – to build unique user profiles that make more personal recommendations and model individuals’ tastes. Once integrated, unlike traditional online retail approaches, Hunch will enable eBay to move beyond standard item-to-item recommendations and use a broader variety of members’ online tastes and interests to suggest new and interesting items for them to browse and buy on eBay.

Hunch’s employees will remain with the company, including co-founders Chris Dixon, Tom Pinckney and Matt Gattis. Hunch will continue to be based in New York.

"We owe huge appreciation to many people who helped us get to this point. Thanks to our investors, including Ron Conway, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures. Most of all, we appreciate the contributions and input of the passionate Hunch community (Ictus and Rhapsody and so many others, I’m talking to you) who helped build the Taste Graph from the very beginning. " said cofounder Chris Dixon.

Are social and recommendations the next big thing when it comes to ecommerce? Join us as we debate this and more at our flagship event focused on ecommerce: ESparks. Please register now to attend e-Sparks 2011 – India’s premier e-commerce startup showcase, on 17th Dec at IIM Bangalore. If you are an Indian e-commerce startup, then please do register now to be the e-Sparks 2011.