updated 02:03 am EDT, Mon August 6, 2012
E-commerce sharing site said to be in Apple's sights
Apple is said to be considering purchasing e-commerce and sharing site The Fancy, according to reports. Business Insider reports that the iDevice maker has been in talks with executives from The Fancy, though details of the financial negotiations have yet to be revealed. Such a purchase would bring Apple into fiercer competition with Amazon, which has been using its Kindle Fire devices to drive consumers to its own e-commerce portal.
The Fancy's most direct competition is Pinterest, though The Fancy is said to be further along in terms of its e-commerce component even though Pinterest is much more popular. Through its website, iOS app, and Android app, The Fancy allows users to tag, share, and purchase an array of specialty items online. The site takes a 10 percent cut of an purchase. The Fancy raised $10 million in funding for a reported valuation of $100 million last fall, and it raised $6 million in 2010.
It is unknown how recently Apple was engaged in talks with executives at The Fancy. Business Insider notes that Apple CEO Tim Cook has an account with the site, though the importance of that fact is uncertain as The Fancy continues to grow in popularity.
Acquiring The Fancy would give Apple a sizable foothold in the e-commerce sector, and it would likely complement shopping features such as PassBook, which is built into iOS 6. E-commerce giant Amazon is thought to be readying a slate of Kindle Fire offerings for release later this year, and those devices will tie heavily into Amazon's own retail portals, and a stronger move into retail could be an attractive option for Apple as it continues to increase the capabilities of its devices.
Of course, Apple acquisitions have been heavily rumored recently, as numerous sources have speculated on what Apple might do with its more than $100 billion in cash reserves. The company was most recently rumored to be considering some sort of investment in Twitter, though that rumor was revealed to have been poorly sourced.