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Pinterest announced today that it has acquired the team behind the smart keyboard app Fleksy. The visual search engine company is not picking up the technology. The app itself will remain operational “for the foreseeable future,” but app updates will be “minimal.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Pinterest revealed that Fleksy founder and chief executive Kosta Eleftheriou will be joining the company’s product engineering team. Half of Fleksy’s 10-person team will be joining the mobile and mobile platform engineering departments.
In a blog post revealing the news, Fleksy revealed that “as a tribute to our incredible community of users,” it will be open-sourcing some of its components specialized for the blind and visually impaired.
“Pinterest is intensely focused on refining the mobile experiences that make it possible to flow effortlessly through our catalog of ideas — on any device, any place in the world,” said Scott Goodson, Pinterest’s head of core experience, in a statement. “The Fleksy team is made up of truly noteworthy engineers and world experts in their areas. These technical artists have a history of developing architecturally innovative, highly optimized software.”
Founded in 2011 by Eleftheriou and Ioannis Verdelis, Fleksy sought to change the way we communicated with our mobile devices, offering a touchscreen keyboard that was billed as faster, more accurate, and easier. It competed alongside the likes of Swiftkey, Swype, and others. And although it had raised $5.9 million in venture funding from investors like Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Middleland Capital, it seemed to be eclipsed by Microsoft’s acquisition of Swiftkey in February.
Although Fleksy’s app and technology isn’t being transferred over to Pinterest, the team will likely still find a way to incorporate it into the visual search and discovery site. Fleksy said that the team will “work on a variety of mobile-focused projects such as growth, core consumer features, and platform infrastructure.”
It’s estimated that Fleksy has received an estimated 5 million downloads on iOS and Android since July 2012, according to mobile market insights firm SensorTower.
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