Etsy Inc. has acquired Blackbird Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based company, to improve the quality and relevance of search. The deal includes Blackbird’s technology and talent. Blackbird has developed proprietary algorithms for natural language processing, image recognition and analytics.
“Buyers come to Etsy.com 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,” said Chad Dickerson, Etsy’s chief executive officer.
Blackbird is known for its deep learning-based image recognition techniques to index and catalogue photos, which help provide more relevant search results, and spelling correction and predictive type-ahead to make searching faster and more intuitive.
Looking ahead, Etsy believes that Blackbird’s artificial intelligence in areas beyond search will help strengthen their markets and seller services platform. “Our team has already made substantial enhancements to the search-and-discovery process on Etsy, 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,” Dickerson added.
Etsy has also launched its first-ever global brand campaign, Difference Makes Us, as an effort to raise awareness of the website as a go-to shopping destination. The acquisition and the brand campaign together are intended to bring Etsy to the top of the list when consumers begin their online shopping searches.
Etsy stock has fallen 11 percent over the past year, but in the past few months has popped back and risen over 36 percent to trade at $13.57.