Apple Eyes The Fancier Things In Life
August 6, 2012

Apple Looks To Purchase Social Media Site, The Fancy

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Apple is in talks to acquire new, fast-growing social media site, The Fancy, according to a report from the Business Insider.

The Fancy has some serious social roots, backed by the cofounders of sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

As the Business Insider tells it, Apple plans to use The Fancy as a way to give their 400 million + iTunes users with their credit cards on file a place to shop. Apple will, as they often do, take a small cut of each sale. If their agreements are anything like their other contracts, they´ll probably take somewhere in the neighborhood of 30%.

The Fancy is often seen as a Pinterest rival, allowing users to catalogue and list various and sundry items they find interesting. The Fancy differs from Pinterest, however, by allowing users the chance to purchase the things they “fancy” on the site, rather than share pictures of these items with their friends. As it stands, The Fancy takes a 10% cut of all sales on the site. According to the Business Insider, the New York City startup is doing quite well, garnering attention from some very A-list celebrities and personalities, including Kanye West and even Tim Cook.

Though Business Insider expects this deal in the future, they have no details about price or how recent these acquisition talks have been going on.

The Fancy CEO Joe Einhorn and Tim Cook did have an opportunity to meet at Allen & Co.´s Sun Valley Conference earlier this year, however. Shortly thereafter, Tim Cook started using The Fancy for himself. At present, Tim Cook has “Fancied” 7 items, including a P5 Triathlon Bicycle, a Fuchsia Panerai watch by Blaken, and, as expected, the Amsterdam Apple Store.

Kanye West, on the other hand, was seen last week in the offices of The Fancy, giving advice to The Fancy´s CEO. According to the company, Einhorn idolizes West in the same way tech geeks idolize Steve Jobs.

With the help of PPR, a French luxury conglomerate who also backs the likes of Gucci, The Fancy was able to raise $10 million at a valuation of $100 million last fall. In 2010, the startup was able to raise $6 million, $2.7 million of which went to founder Einhorn and his brother and cofounder, Jack Einhorn.

Based on this past performance, investors are expecting a “healthy return” of anywhere from 3 to 5 times what they paid.

Sitting on the board of The Fancy are Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey and Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes, lending some social media cred to the start up. The owner of the Boston Celtics, James Pallotta, also sits on the board.

Though Apple prefers to make their acquisitions in a quiet fashion, the Business Insider says their sources are telling them The Fancy is at a place in their growth where Apple likes to step in and take over.

None of the involved parties, including Apple, Einhorn, PPR or Tim Cook have responded to requests for comment, as you might expect. This sort of easy shopping combined with Apple´s massive amount of stored credit card information could spell trouble for many competitors.