Discussions are ongoing, said the people, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly. A transaction price could not be learned; Pinterest has a market cap of around $ 49 billion, while VSCO has raised $ 90 million in funding and was last valued at $ 550 million. An acquisition may not go through, people warned.
Representatives for Pinterest and VSCO (pronounced VIS-coh) declined to comment on the deal negotiations.
VSCO spokesperson Julie Inouye said the company is focused on expanding its business. We always come across different companies in the creative space at some point and don’t discuss rumors or speculation, she said.
Pinterest and VSCO, which stands for Visual Supply Company, are part of a group of tech companies with a strong focus on digital images and visual editing and less reliance on social networking features. Pinterest, a digital bulletin board site that went public in 2019, allows its users to discover and save images to inspire creative projects or to plan important aspects of their lives, including home renovations, weddings and meals.
VSCO, a 10-year-old startup, creates an app for editing and sharing images and videos. In 2019, it became popular with a Gen Z group who became known as the VSCO girls, known for wearing Crocs and Hydro flasks. The idea of VSCO girls went viral, inspiring social media imitation, mockery, memes, and Halloween costumes.
For Pinterest, buying a once-bustling startup popular with a younger audience with expertise in photo and video editing technologies could bolster its core service, people said.
Since Pinterest went public, its revenue has increased, although analysts have said they don’t expect Pinterest to become steadily profitable until 2022. It has grown internationally as well.
During the pandemic, the company saw a resurgence of interest as people were locked in and turned to more digital business. Pinterest added 100 million monthly active users last year and now has a total of 450 million monthly active users.
The San Francisco-based company also faced social unrest last year. In December, he agreed to pay $ 22.5 million to settle a sex discrimination and reprisal lawsuit brought by his former chief operating officer, one of the largest individual deals publicly announced for sex discrimination. Two employees of color who resigned last year have also publicly discussed their experiences with racist and sexist comments, wage inequalities and retaliation at the company.
Founded in 2011, VSCO has become known among young users as a kind of anti-social network. The app doesn’t have any likes, comments, or subscriber accounts, so it looks like there is less pressure from users to build a fan base. VSCO also avoids advertising, but makes money by charging people for additional features. Of its 100 million registered users, more than 2 million are paid subscribers.
When the VSCO girls became a cultural phenomenon at the end of 2019, investor interest in the startup increased. But fashion has since calmed down. When the pandemic hit, VSCO laid off 30% of its employees. In December, it acquired Trash, a mobile video editing app, and announced plans to continue acquiring businesses in 2021.
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