EBay acquires data analysis firm Hunch to boost recommendations

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EBay has acquired data analysis firm Hunch to boost personal recommendations feature on its online marketplace, says a recent report from the Reuters .

Hunch which was founded by Chris Dixon, Tom Pinckney and Matt Gattis in 2009, offers personal recommendations, by analyzing data from social networks like Facebook. According to EBay, Hunch would help suggest relevant products to the shoppers on its online marketplace.

“We’ll be tackling all kinds of interesting challenges as part of eBay including predictive merchandising, interpreting unstructured data and creating merchant insights. We can’t wait to get started,” the Hunch team stated on its blog announcing the acquisition.

“All retailers want to suggest items to the people visiting their site. That works with a finite category of goods. We have a lot of unique inventory at eBay, from coins to auto parts,” said Mark Carges, the chief technology officer at eBay.

“If Hunch knows that people who like one fashion brand also usually like another brand, that kind of learning could be exported over to make suggestions on eBay,” said Hunch co-founder Chris Dixon.

The Hunch employees would continue to operate from New York and would continue to experiment and develop recommendation software that would later be integrated into eBay’s site.

To better compete with other online retailers like Amazon, EBay has been adding new technologies and acquiring several startups lately. Some of its recent acquisitions include Milo, a price comparison tool; RedLaser, a bar-code scanning application; and GSI Commerce, a provider of online services that will help eBay work with bigger retailers.

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