Online auction site eBay announced the acquisition of recommendation startup Hunch on Monday for an estimated cost of $80 million (Acquisition pricing has not been revealed at this time).
Launched in 2008 the company will retain their 50-person recommendations team who according to Hunch founder Chris Dixon will move over to join the team at eBay.
eBay has long had a problem predicting what their customers are searching for because many of their products are used or come in unique form which makes them hard to analyze.
According to eBay’s chief technology officer:
“Hunch was solving a similar problem with unstructured data,” he says. “The type of technologies were similar enough that this makes sense.”
How the company will integrate Hunch into their existing platform is still to be seen. What is known is that the company was likely a “hot target” as Michael Arrington explained in his Uncrunched post:
In mid 2010 there were whispers that Google was taking a long look at the company as well, although I haven’t heard anything to suggest they were bidding against Ebay this time around.
How would you like to see eBay change their recommendation engine for the better?