Luxury site AHAlife, which was founded on the idea of debuting unusual home and apparel items on a daily basis, just acquired the photo sharing app Kaptur. AHAlife’s combined e-commerce and editorial presences have an audience of 1.5 million, compared to Kaptur’s proven ability to reach 60 million Facebook users, so the numbers make the acquisition obvious, even if the motives aren’t.
New e-commerce ventures go hand-in-hand with tech start-ups that make branding social media easier, but this is unusual. The two working together? Yes. One acquiring the other? Unprecedented. AHAlife operates on luxury’s inherent appeal; Kaptur runs on algorithms. It seems like it’s not necessarily the increased social media traffic that AHAlife is after, but the systems operating behind it.
As it turns out that social media drives even less commercial traffic than everyone thought, it makes sense that AHAlife wants ownership of viral marketing technology, not just access to the access. Founder Shauna Mei explained to us ages ago that she wanted her site to run on a unique sense of accidental discovery. Taking control of viral marketing technology, in hindsight, is a no-brainer for facilitating that vision. What’s interesting now is to see if, and what, other well-funded retail operations begin acquiring the start-ups that originally intended to take them on as clients.