It was only a matter of time before websites similar to the increasingly popular Pinterest started to pop up out of the woodwork. The Fancy describes itself as “part store, blog, magazine and wishlist,” and it’s the store piece that’s really differentiating the platform from its competitor. The site allows you to “Fancy” anything you see on the Web so you can return to it at a later time.
According to a recent article in Fast Company, the New York-based startup has 250,000 users compared to Pinterests’ more than 10 million users, but has some serious clout behind it. Fancy’s board includes Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. They’ve collected $18 million from investors, which include Andreessen Horowitz, Ashton Kutcher and French conglomerate PPR, the parent company of high-end fashion lines like Gucci and Alexander McQueen.
So, why is this news for the business community to dig their teeth into? Unlike Pinterest, Fancy (@thefancy) provides brands and merchants with the opportunity to sell – and promote – products directly from their website. Founder Joe Einhorn told CNNMoney to consider the platform “as really laser-focused on a modern commerce model.”
Einhorn also said that Fancy is Groupon in reverse – instead of providing discounts to lure customers, merchants can provide custom deals for items that already have an eager audience, which will likely convert fans into buyers.
We may not be able to be overly promotional on Pinterest, but it seems Fancy has stepped in just in time to fill that void. The question now is whether or not Fancy will be able to survive if and when Pinterest pushes out its own e-commerce system.