Mar 8, 2017

Pinterest acquires Q&A app from Twitter co-founder

JD Lasica / Flickr CC

Pinterest, the online service for bookmarking images, has acquired Jelly, a crowdsourcing Q&A app co-founded by Biz Stone, one of Twitter's founders.

As part of the deal, Stone will join Pinterest as a special advisor to co-founder and product chief Evan Sharp, while his co-founder, Ben Finkel, will join Pinterest's growth product team, said the company. The transaction was "small and all stock," a source close to the deal told Axios.

Search team: Despite being known as a service for creating collections of cake recipes or furniture ideas, Pinterest has been heavily investing in image search technology, and has said it wants to become the "Google of image search." Jelly is also in the search business, though its app focuses on helping people get answers from others in the community, along with some assistance from technology. However, it's still unclear what will happen to Jelly's app, according to a blog post from Stone.

Un-pivot: Stone and Finkel first began working on Jelly in 2013 as a way for people to crowdsource answers to questions via their social media networks. The startup quickly raised millions in funding from venture capitalists like Greylock, but by late 2014, was already shifting its focus to a different app and began winding down within months. However, as Stone later explained, he was still interested in how people search for information, and by spring 2016, the company was back to working on a new version of Jelly. Stone's joke that his company did an "un-pivot"—a play on Silicon Valley jargon for shifting course—even prompted the press to have some fun with it.

The story has been updated with additional details about the deal.

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