Pinterest Acquires Jelly, Startup Led by Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone

Why Biz Stone's Q&A App Jelly Was Attractive to Pinterest

Pinterest Inc. has acquired Jelly Industries, the question-and-answer app led by Twitter Inc. co-founder Biz Stone.

Jelly's product lets people ask questions and then uses an algorithm to pair them with experts to give answers. Pinterest said the startup's skills will help expand its online search tools, including a new feature called Lens that conducts a search based on what's in a photo. As part of the deal, Stone will become a special adviser to Pinterest's co-founder and chief product officer, Evan Sharp. Jelly co-founder Ben Finkel will join the growth product team.

Stone's app went through several phases, working on search with questions, images and audio, but never reached broad popularity. Earlier this year, Pinterest's acquisition team reached out to Jelly, while Stone was considering raising more money. Stone met Sharp for the first time, and the two found that they were trying to explore the same kinds of questions.

``There's still so much innovation left in the world of search,'' Stone said in an interview. ``We're going to bring our combined know-how that's going to help accelerate Pinterest's efforts in the space.''

Closely held Pinterest is paying for Jelly in stock, though the companies wouldn't disclose a price. Stone said he was an early investor in Pinterest, a website where people can post and search for pictures that inspire plans for recipes, fashion and travel.

``This company is truly something of enduring value,'' Stone said. ``That's primarily why I'm attracted to it.''

Pinterest hasn't yet decided whether to shut down Jelly's apps, Stone said.

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