November 21, 2011, 10:05 AM

eBay buys a recommendation technology provider

Hunch will enable eBay to better craft recommendations around consumers’ interests.

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EBay Inc. said today it has bought online recommendation technology provider Hunch.com. The online marketplace did not say how much it paid for the company.

Hunch launched in 2009, eBay says. The acquired company’s technology crafts what eBay calls customized recommendations for online shoppers. Hunch collects data about shoppers from social networks and its own questionnaires to build profiles that lead to personalized product recommendations that can be based on general consumer tastes, not just specific items browsed by shoppers.

 “With Hunch, we’re adding new capabilities to personalizing the shopping experience on eBay to the individual relevant tastes and interests of our customers,” says Mark Carges, chief technology officer and senior vice president, global products, marketplaces.  “We expect Hunch’s technologies to benefit eBay shoppers as they browse and buy, and to bring sellers on eBay new ways to connect the right products with the right customers.”

EBay says it will retain Hunch’s employees, including co-founders Chris Dixon, Tom Pinckney and Matt Gattis. Hunch will remain based in New York. EBay is based in San Jose, CA.

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