So No Apple Acquisition, Then? Pinterest Rival Fancy Raises $26 Million In New Funding

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Pinterest rival Fancy was rumored to be in acquisition talks with Apple, but that outcome is sounding more distant today because the startup has raised a big, new round of funding instead. According to a new SEC filing, Fancy has raised just over $26 million in additional funding from investors which include Allen & Co‘s LeRoy Kim, Celtics owner Jim Pallotta, Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey, PPR’s Franscois-Henri Pinault, and Edward Gilligan, Vice Chairman of American Express.

Also listed on the filing are Fancy co-founders Joe and Jack Einhorn.

Fancy had previously raised $18 million in outside funding.

Some of these names should not be a surprise – the lead investor in Fancy’s $10 million round from November 2011 came from outside the Valley: PPR, the $25 billion French firm run by Francois Henri-Pinault which owns some of the biggest fashion brands in the world, including Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. Through its relationship with Fancy, high fashion sites like Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and others, now have social commerce integrations courtesy of the service.

Dorsey and Pallotta were also involved in Fancy’s $6 million Series A round from 2010, and LeRoy Kim was previously listed as a Fancy Board Member, thanks to Allen & Co.’s participation in Fancy’s angel round.

The company, in fact, is known for having a lineup of impressive backers. Other investors include top VCs Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz (as individuals), General CatalystEsther Dyson,  MTV creator Bob Pittman, former eBay COO Maynard WebbEric EisnerJeff Samberg, and Ashton Kutcher.

This August, the company was reportedly in talks with Apple about an acquisition deal, but either that deal fell through, talks are ongoing and Fancy is just extending its runway, or the original reports were inaccurate.

For those unfamiliar, Fancy is often thought of as a high-end Pinterest rival, but the focus of the service has always been one of a more of a transactional nature. The startup offers a commerce marketplace, which lets merchants and brands use a self-serve platform to upload their own images and associated deals, or they can tap into the demand for their products generated by the site. Fancy’s users are able to “shop” the images. Instead of clicking through to an external website, they’re shown the option to purchase the item in question (or in the case of exotic scenes, a hotel room, perhaps) from Fancy itself. This greatly differs from Pinterest, which tends to be more about “inspirational” imagery, not buying.

The company has also experimented with other forms of e-commerce, including a group gift giving platform, subscription-based commerce with its “Fancy Box” offering, “buy” buttons for fashion bloggers, a cashback promotion with Amex, and more.

We’ve reached out to the company for additional details, but Fancy COO Michael Silverman declined to provide immediate confirmation or comment without first talking to the CEO or other executives. Unfortunately, because of the company’s NYC location, folks at the company are difficult to reach today due to evacuations related to the hurricane. We’ll update when we have the official word.