Polyvore

Polyvore logo

Polyvore was a community-powered social commerce website headquartered in Mountain View, California. The company's virtual mood board function allowed community members to add products into a shared product index, and use them to create image collages called "Sets".

They could also browse other users' sets for inspiration, share sets with friends and interact with people through comments and likes. Due to the visual nature of the tool Polyvore was mostly used to build sets in the fields of home decoration, beauty, and fashion. Online retailers, too, could upload their product images to Polyvore and link back to their product pages or use Polyvore to encourage users to showcase their products through such activities as board creation competitions.

Polyvore opened an office in New York City in Aug 2012. At that point, the company said it had amassed 17 million active users. By the end of 2012, the company said its site was receiving 20 million unique visitors per month, a number which continued to be used in 2016. The site was bought by SSENSE and, on Apr 5, 2018, it was completely shut down.

Quick Fact

Summary

  • Ranked #148,477th worldwide
  • Active users 20 M
  • Type Shopping Networks
  • Launched date Feb 1, 2007
  • Employees N/A
  • Headquarters Mountain View, California, U.S.
  • Parent company SSENSE (2018 - Present)

Founders

person
Pasha Sadri
person
Jianing Hu
person
Guangwei Yuen

Networks

  • Brand value In 2020 N/A
  • Revenue in 2020 N/A
  • Net loss In 2020 N/A

Alternatives

Polyvore was acquired by SSENSE, a Montreal-based online retailer, and shut down in 2018. Founded in 2007, Polyvore gave users the tools to create collages of clothing, beauty, and home products, and in doing so, created a community of people getting creative and following each other's work.

Now there are many alternatives to Polyvore, such as Fashmates, Fashiers, URSTYLE, TrendMe, ShopLook, Bantoa, and Stylevore.

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

Polyvore started as a prototype developed by Pasha Sadri in August 2006.

While he and his wife were decorating their new house, they found themselves cutting furniture ideas and color patches out of magazines and assembling them into inspiration boards.

While this tried and tested approach worked, Sadri, an engineer at Yahoo, felt that it would be better if the mood boards could be created online. He used Yahoo Pipes, one of the tools he had created, as a basis to build the first iteration of Polyvore.

Soon after its creation, fellow Yahoo engineers Jianing Hu and Guangwei Yuen joined Sadri to form the founding team, which launched the first version of the website in 2007.

Brief History

2007
Feb Founding of Polyvore.

Launched the first version of the website.

2009
Aug Polyvore reached four million unique visitors, 150 million pageviews a month, and received US$5.6 million in funding.
2010
Mar The New Yorker profiled Polyvore, calling it a “fashion democracy” and a “world of virtual Anna Wintour”.

Polyvore received 6.6 million unique visitors.

2011

Polyvore reached profitability in 2011, largely through the use of affiliate links.

Polyvore was named in Entrepreneur Magazine's 100 Most Brilliant Companies list and as number 29 of Time Magazine's 50 Best Websites.

2012

Polyvore was named by Fast Company as number 28 of its 50 Most Innovative Companies of the year.

Jan Polyvore received US$14 million in Series C funding from DAG Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Matrix, and Vivi Nevo.
Feb Polyvore partnered with CoverGirl to launch "Polyvore Live".
Aug Polyvore opened its first New York office, in SoHo.

Polyvore was receiving 17 million unique monthly visitors.

Nov The company launched its inaugural iOS app, and Polyvore's website achieved a 19 million monthly unique visitor count.
2013
Jul The traffic of 20 million visitors per month.
2014
May Over three million members had downloaded the Polyvore iPhone app.

The company was reporting 20 million unique visitors per month.

2015
Apr Polyvore launched its second iPhone app called Remix.
Jul Yahoo and Polyvore announced that Yahoo would acquire Polyvore.
2018
Apr Polyvore announced that it had been acquired by SSENSE and would cease operations immediately.

Network Features

Many Categories To Suit Your Needs
																	Network features. (via techcrunch.com)

Polyvore, the style-focused community whose members regularly pin collages of outfits and accessories to Pinterest, has now arrived on Android. The app follows the company’s iOS debut by roughly a year and a half, indicating, perhaps, its largely female user base’s preference for iPhone and iPad when working with their fashion creations.

The company sees 20 million uniques per month and says that over 3 million of its members have since downloaded the iOS version of Polyvore. Despite the long delay in between mobile platform releases, the Android app does not quite feature complete with its iPhone counterpart.

That while, for the most part, the features are the same on Android as on iOS, Polyvore had to prioritize some over others in order to “get the app in the hands of users faster.” That means the company’s decision to finally address its Android user base was a more recent one, clearly.

The new app does offer the key parts of the Polyvore experience, however, including the ability to discover creations from the community, swipe to browse through sets and products, “like” items that match your interest, build your own sets with an included Editor function, shop the styles you like, plus connect with friends and receive their updates.

And the missing features are minor things – like, for example, you can’t put embellishments or backgrounds in the Editor when creating sets, and the search feature doesn’t let you search for members – that sort of thing.

Though the company recently made the foray into a new vertical with an expansion into home decor late last year, the community has earned its reputation as a fashion community, and that today remains the service’s primary use case among its members, who are 77% female, based on what they’re sharing to Pinterest and elsewhere on the service. But the Android app will also allow members to put together beauty and room ideas, in addition to outfits.

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