The image-focused social network says Kosei’s technology should help improve its advertising offerings. Pinterest launched its first ad format on Jan. 1 after eight months of testing.

Pinterest, which launched its first ads on Jan. 1, isn’t wasting any time working to improve the tools it offers marketers.

The image-focused social network today announced it bought Kosei, a startup with machine-learning product recommendations and personalization technology. The sales price was not disclosed. Pinterest plans to use the technology to improve its ad targeting.

Pinterest’s lone ad unit, Promoted Pins, is a native advertising unit that enables marketers to pay to promote pins that appear much like other pins that the platform’s users see. The social network rolled out the ads earlier this month after eight months of testing.

Pinterest says that Kosei should also help it improve its recommendations, as well as its ability to predict the likelihood a user will pin a particular piece of content.  

“The Kosei team and technology will help us accelerate our ad efforts by offering marketers more solutions to tap into our growing and valuable data set and object graph,” says Joanne Bradford, head of Pinterest partnerships.


Kosei co-founder and CEO Lance Riedel says his startup shares a vision with Pinterest.

“We’ve been focusing on revolutionizing recommendations with a deep understanding of serving beautiful ads to the right people in the moments that matter, and Pinterest’s vision for building a next generation discovery platform matches our own,” he says.

The move is Pinterest’s sixth acquisition to date.