eBay Acquires Recommendation Engine Hunch.com

Machine Learning Experts and Innovative “Taste Graph” Technology to Drive More Personalized, Relevant Experiences on eBay

SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--Global ecommerce and online payments leader eBay Inc. (Nasdaq:EBAY) today announced it has acquired the innovative team and technology of Hunch (http://hunch.com), an online platform launched in 2009 that delivers customized recommendations to its users based on their individual tastes. Hunch’s patented prediction technology – also known as a “taste graph” – uses signals from around the Web to map members with their predicted affinity for products, services, other people, websites, or just about anything, and customizes recommended topics for them.

Hunch’s technology talent and its deep expertise in areas like machine learning, data mining and predictive modeling are expected to help eBay expand and grow merchandising and relevance capabilities to further improve the shopping and selling experience for eBay customers. For example, 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.

“We are engaging consumers in innovative ways and attracting top technologists to shape the future of commerce,” said Mark Carges, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, Global Products, Marketplaces. “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.”

Hunch’s familiarity with and expertise in tailoring data to meet customer needs can also be applied to other technology opportunities across eBay, including search, advertising and marketing initiatives, to better surface product and search results based on customers’ tastes.

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.

About eBay Inc.

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) is about enabling commerce. We do so through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, which allows users to buy and sell in nearly every country on earth; through PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments; and through GSI, which facilitates ecommerce, multichannel retailing and digital marketing for global enterprises. X.commerce brings together the technology assets and developer communities of eBay, PayPal and Magento, an ecommerce platform, to support eBay Inc.’s mission of enabling commerce. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements relating to the future performance of our businesses that are based on its current expectations, forecasts and assumptions. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding eBay's plans for Hunch. Those statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those discussed. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: changes in political, business and economic conditions, including any conditions that affect ecommerce growth; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; the company's ability to profitably integrate, manage and grow Hunch and other businesses that have been acquired recently or may be acquired in the future; the company's need to increasingly achieve growth from its existing users, particularly in its more established markets; the company's ability to deal with the increasingly competitive ecommerce environment, including competition for its sellers from other trading sites and other means of selling, and competition for its buyers from other merchants, online and offline; the company's need to manage an increasingly large enterprise with a broad range of businesses of varying degrees of maturity and in many different geographies; the effect of management changes and business initiatives; the company's need and ability to manage other regulatory, tax and litigation risks as its services are offered in more jurisdictions and applicable laws become more restrictive; any changes the company may make to its product offerings; the competitive, regulatory, credit card association-related and other risks specific to PayPal and Bill Me Later, especially as PayPal continues to expand geographically and grow its open platform initiative and as new laws and regulations related to financial services companies come into effect; the company's ability to timely upgrade and develop its systems, infrastructure and customer service capabilities, including GSI's v.11 initiative, at reasonable cost; and the company's ability to maintain site stability and performance on all of its sites while adding new products and features in a timely fashion. The forward-looking statements in this release do not include the potential impact of any acquisitions or divestitures that may be announced and/or completed after the date hereof.

More information about potential factors which could affect our business and results is included in eBay's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, its Current Reports on Form 8-K, and other periodic filings. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to eBay on the date hereof, and eBay assumes no obligation to update such statements.

Contacts

eBay
Johnna Hoff, 408-250-8644
jhoff@ebay.com
or
eBay U.S. Press Hotline
press@ebay.com

Release Summary

eBay Inc. (Nasdaq:EBAY) announced it has acquired the innovative team and technology of Hunch, an online platform launched in 2009 that delivers customized recommendations to members.

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Contacts

eBay
Johnna Hoff, 408-250-8644
jhoff@ebay.com
or
eBay U.S. Press Hotline
press@ebay.com