Pinterest may be popular. But Fancy, a high-end competitor, has money. And today, it’s about to make a lot more.
Founded by serial start-up entrepreneur, Joseph Einhorn, Fancy directly connects wealthy users with images of merchant’s luxury goods. As a result, Fancy doesn’t share Pinterest’s copyright woes. Users don’t have permission to upload photos; they can simply “fancy” and share the ones merchants do.
The affluent New York based start up launched last year with an $18 million investment. Its backers include PPR, the French conglomerate that owns brands like Gucci. Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Chris Hughes of Facebook serve on its board. Even Kanye West tweets about it.
Fancy may only have 250,000 users so far, compared with Pinterest’s 11 million, but according to Business Insider, this user base is highly involved. Users fancied 1 million images last week alone.
Today, Fancy is poised to differentiate itself from Pinterest even more. Users will be able to discover, select, and purchase luxury goods and services without ever leaving the site.
“From a consumer perspective, I'm able to go to this website, where I'm finding out about the coolest stuff in the world, and instead of clicking, signing up, and giving my address and contact info to a million different websites, I am able to shop right inside,” Einhorn told Fast Company.
Now, merchants can browse items that users have “fancied.” If they have the product in stock, they can click an “I want to sell this” button, name a price, and wait for notified Fancy users to come to them.
Einhorn described the process to Business Insider as a reverse of coupon sites like Living Social and Groupon.
"Instead of Groupon where the company tells you what to buy and the price, people can decide what they want and merchants can fill that demand with a self-service bid system,” he told them.
Most people might find Fancy’s products a bit pricey. But whether you purchase or just peruse this competitor, somebody’s getting paid.