SAN FRANCISCO — Pinterest has held talks to purchase VSCO, a images app that spawned a teenage social media craze, in response to two folks with information of the matter.
The discussions are ongoing, mentioned the folks, who declined to be recognized as a result of they weren’t approved to talk publicly. A deal worth couldn’t be discovered; Pinterest has a market capitalization of about $49 billion, whereas VSCO has raised $90 million in funding and was final valued at $550 million. An acquisition might not materialize, the folks cautioned.
Representatives from Pinterest and VSCO (pronounced “vis-coe””) declined to touch upon deal talks.
Julie Inouye, a spokeswoman for VSCO, mentioned the corporate was targeted on increasing its enterprise. “We’re at all times assembly with totally different firms throughout the inventive area at any given time and don’t focus on rumors or hypothesis,” she mentioned.
Pinterest and VSCO, which stands for Visible Provide Firm, are a part of a gaggle of tech firms which can be extremely targeted on digital photographs and visible modifying and that rely much less on social networking options. Pinterest, a digital pin board web site that went public in 2019, lets its customers uncover and save photographs to encourage inventive initiatives or to plan essential elements of their lives, together with house renovations, weddings and meals.
VSCO, a 10-year-old start-up, makes an app for modifying and sharing photographs and movies. In 2019, it turned fashionable with a Technology Z group that got here to be generally known as “VSCO women,” who had been recognized for sporting Crocs and carrying Hydro Flasks. The thought of VSCO women went viral, inspiring social media imitation, mockery, memes and Halloween costumes.
For Pinterest, shopping for a once-buzzy start-up that was fashionable with youthful audiences and that has experience in photo- and video-editing applied sciences may bolster its core service, the folks mentioned.
Since Pinterest went public, its income has grown, although analysts have mentioned they don’t count on Pinterest to turn into usually worthwhile till 2022. It has additionally expanded internationally.
Through the pandemic, the corporate skilled a surge of curiosity as folks had been locked down and turned to extra digital actions. Pinterest added 100 million month-to-month energetic customers final 12 months and now has a complete of 450 million month-to-month energetic customers.
The San Francisco firm additionally confronted social unrest final 12 months. In December, it agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit from its former chief working officer, one of many largest publicly introduced particular person settlements for gender discrimination. Two feminine staff of colour who give up final 12 months additionally publicly mentioned their experiences with racist and sexist feedback, pay inequities and retaliation on the firm.
Based in 2011, VSCO turned recognized amongst youthful customers as a type of anti-social community. The app doesn’t have likes, feedback or follower counts, so it appeared to place much less stress on customers to construct up a fan base. VSCO additionally eschews promoting, as a substitute incomes cash by charging folks for further options. Of its 100 million registered customers, greater than two million are paying subscribers.
When VSCO women turned a cultural phenomenon in late 2019, investor curiosity within the start-up swelled. However the fad has since cooled off. When the pandemic hit, VSCO laid off 30 % of its staff. In December, it acquired Trash, a cell app for video modifying, and mentioned it deliberate to proceed buying firms in 2021.