PopSugar Acquires Shoppable Photo Startup PICT

Content and commerce company PopSugar has acquired PICT, a startup which makes technology that enables users to make photos “shoppable.” With the acquisition, PopSugar hopes to make it easier for bloggers to participate in its ShopSense program and grow affiliate marketing revenues.

PopSugar might best be known as a destination site that targets women between the ages of 18 and 40, providing all sorts of information and entertainment across verticals that include celebrity, fashion, beauty, fitness, food, and parenting. But in addition to its own content and ad business, PopSugar also offers search and commerce tools.

That includes ShopStyle, with is a search engine for fashion, and its PopSugar Must Have subscription commerce box. It also has ShopSense, which is an affiliate marketing program that third-party publishers (i.e. bloggers) can use to monetize their own sites.

And that’s where the acquisition of PICT comes in. The company, which launched last Spring after participating in the AngelPad seed-stage startup accelerator, called itself a “B2B publishing and analytics platform” that enabled brands create “shoppable” photos. Those photos could be shared across social networks and embedded in publisher websites, all while bringing the end customer back to where they could actually make a purchase.

With that technology, PopSugar wants to bolster its ShopSense offering. By integrating PICT into it, publishers will be able to earn revenue by creating shoppable images with product details and links to ShopStyle retail partners. Viewers would get info like the retailer selling it, product name, price, and even have a “shop” button to purchase the product.

That would enable consumers to shop directly from the image, whether it was embedded on the publisher’s site or shared to social networks like Facebook.

PICT had raised $1.4 million in funding from investors that include Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, Kirsten Green’s Forerunner Ventures, New York fashion designer and businessman Steven Alan, Opus Capital, AngelPad, 500 Startups, Gary Vaynerchuk, Scott Belsky, and Seth Berman.

While details of the transaction were not disclosed, the entire PICT team will be joining PopSugar in its San Francisco headquarters to work on the integration and add new features to make images more shoppable.