Breaking this morning: Ebay will announce the acquisition of New York based startup Hunch, say sources. The price tag will be somewhere around $80 million.
Hunch was founded by Chris Dixon, Caterina Fake (who left last summer to start a new company but remains an advisor), Tom Pinckney and Matt Gattis. The company has raised just under $20 million in funding.
The Hunch recommendation technology will be used by Ebay to revamp their own ecommerce recommendations. Dixon will take over Ebay’s existing 50 person recommendations team, and start a new office in New York.
That New York office will eventually grow to some 200 employees, I’m told, who’ll focus on recommendations. But the team will also analyze lots of Ebay data, and perhaps productize some of it or otherwise release it. As an example, Ebay purchase and sale data may help predict inflation or a looming recession better and sooner than any data the government can get their hands on.
It’s been a long journey for Hunch. The company was founded in 2008. In early 2010 I interviewed cofounder Fake, you can watch that here. 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.
Congrats to the team, and to investors General Catalyst Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, SV Angel and Khosla Ventures.