Pinterest Makes Acquisition to Bolster Mobile Ad Business

Image Bookmarking Service Acquires Deep Linking Technology Company URX

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URX co-founder and CEO John Millinovich.
URX co-founder and CEO John Millinovich. Credit: Courtesy of Pinterest

In an effort to bolster its mobile ad business, Pinterest said Tuesday it has acquired deep linking technology company URX. Terms were not disclosed.

A person familiar with the deal said the move was primarily made as a talent acquisition. The image bookmarking service does not plan on taking any of URX's assets or technology, but instead wants the group's expertise in mobile content discovery and search, key focuses for the company.

URX is perhaps best known in Silicon Valley circles for its deep linking technology, which takes users to a specific page within an app in similar fashion to the way a URL address takes someone to a specific section of the open web. Google, for example, has more than 100 billion deep links in its index, including some from Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb and Pinterest.

URX co-founder and CEO John Milinovich will join Pinterest as product manager. Mr. Milinovich was previously at Google, where he worked on the analytics team and helped introduce Google Offers.

"URX was founded to create seamless, interconnected mobile experiences by helping people discover content inside apps," Mr. Milinovich said in a statement. "Discovery is one of the largest problems on the web, and Pinterest is well positioned to solve it at an unprecedented scale. We share Pinterest's vision to help people discover and do the things they love, and are excited to join them on this journey."

The image bookmarking service has been aggressively ramping up its efforts to generate revenue as it gears up for a widely expected IPO. On Monday, the company announced a partnership with Millward Brown Digital that would tell many U.S. advertisers how their Promoted Pin campaigns will affect objectives such as brand awareness, favorability and purchase intent.

Last week, the company opted to run its first-ever brand campaign in the U.K. instead of the U.S. It said the majority of its users are now outside the U.S., also a first for the company.

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