November 21, 2011 – eBay reported that it has acquired customer recommendation and prediction provider Hunch.

Hunch’s prediction technology, what it calls its “taste graph,” brings in signals from across the Internet to chart a map of a customer’s likely affinity for products, services and social connections. Then, the taste graph takes this information and customizes recommendations of topics and products for the customer.

In a news release on the deal, eBay stated that Hunch’s technology and related expertise in machine learning, data mining and predictive modeling would be applied toward new and increasingly specific connections between customers and products on eBay.

Mark Carges, eBay CTO and SVP, said in a news release on the deal that Hunch’s technology will benefit eBay customers in the generation of “non-obvious” recommendations of items available on the site.

“With Hunch, we’re adding new capabilities to personalizing the shopping experience on eBay to the individual relevant tastes and interests of our customers,” Carges said.

Since it first launched its predictive customer platform in 2009, Hunch had reportedly been sought for acquisition by a few big vendors. Hunch employees will stay with the company and continue to operate from their headquarters in New York, according to a release from eBay.

Financial details of the proposed deal were not disclosed.

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