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Hunch (website)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryRecommender system
FounderCaterina Fake and Chris Dixon
DefunctMarch 2014
  • 2011: acquired by eBay
  • 2014: tech subsumed in eBay platform

Hunch was an American company founded in 2007 that offered product recommendation, through its proprietary website, based on users' interest. Hunch launched its website in June 2009. In November 2011, Hunch was acquired by eBay for US$80 million (equivalent to $108.4 million in 2023).

While the technology continues to be used in eBay's e-commerce platform, the public facing website for Hunch was shuttered in March 2014.


Hunch was co-founded in 2007 by Caterina Fake (co-founder of Flickr),[1] and Chris Dixon, working with a small team of eight fellow "MIT nerds with backgrounds in computer science and math".[2] The operation, headquartered in New York City,[3] developed a website that offered product recommendations based on users' interest.[4][5][6]

Hunch started a private preview period in December 2008, with a private beta in March 2009.[7] Hunch launched its website in June 2009.[8]

In December 2009, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales joined Hunch.com as a board member and advisor.[9]

In February 2010, the website had 1.2 million unique visitors.[10] In January 2011, Hunch was redesigned from decision tree system and topic specific questions to tagging and product referral.[11]

In November 2011, Hunch was acquired by eBay Inc. for US$80 million (equivalent to $108.4 million in 2023).[12][13] eBay planned to use Hunch's recommendation engine technology to improve how their own e-commerce platform offered users items to purchase. Specifically, eBay intended to use the Hunch technology to make non-obvious purchase suggestions.[4]

After its acquisition by eBay, co-founder Chris Dixon remained as head of the operating business within eBay. eBay merged the approximately 20 employees at Hunch with the approximately 50 employees on the existing eBay data science team, under Dixon's department.[12]

While the underlying recommendation engine technology remains in use at eBay, the public-facing website for the independent Hunch recommendation engine was closed in March 2014.


  1. ^ Parr, Ben (March 28, 2009). "Hunch: Flickr Founder to Turn Indecision into Profits". Mashable. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
  2. ^ "The Hunch Team". Hunch.com. 2009-06-17. Archived from the original on 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  3. ^ "About Hunch.com". Hunch.com. 2009-06-19. Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  4. ^ a b Eldon, Eric (2011-11-21). "eBay Buys Hunch To Improve Long-Tail Shopping Recommendations". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  5. ^ Rao, Leena (2012-02-06). "Hunch Takes A Deep Data Dive On The Tastes And Interests Of eBay Users". TechCrunch. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  6. ^ Evans, Woody (2009-06-25). "Hunch: A Psychosocial Divinatory Machine for the Masses". Information Today. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  7. ^ Fake, Caterina (2010-02-25). "Official Forum Thread: wikipedia article about hunch could use some improvement!". Hunch.com. Archived from the original on 2010-02-28. Retrieved 2010-03-01. preview in March, and launched publicly June 15, 2009
  8. ^ Caceres, Chris (2009-06-15). "Hunch launches today". VatorNews. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  9. ^ Wales, Jimmy (December 7, 2009). "What's new for me: Hunch". blog.jimmywales.com. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  10. ^ "Hunch". Mashable. Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  11. ^ Russell, Jon (2011-01-31). "Goodbye topic-specific questions, hello tags". Blog.hunch.com. Archived from the original on 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  12. ^ a b Martin, Adam (2011-11-21). "eBay Buys Hunch for $80 Million". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  13. ^ Hoff, Johnna (2011-11-21). "eBay Acquires Recommendation Engine Hunch.com". Business Wire (Press release). eBay. Retrieved 2018-06-24.