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Facebook acquires AI startup that helps you shop

The social network says its purchase of GrokStyle will support its artificial intelligence work.

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James Martin/CNET

Facebook said Friday that it purchased a startup called GrokStyle, which uses artificial intelligence to help shoppers find furniture and home decor. 

"We are excited to welcome GrokStyle to Facebook," Facebook spokeswoman Vanessa Chan said in a statement. "Their team and technology will contribute to our AI capabilities." 

Furniture retailer Ikea uses technology developed by GrokStyle in its mobile app. Users snap a picture of a piece of furniture and the app shows them similar products they can purchase online. 

In a blog post, GrokStyle says it's "moving on as a team" but doesn't mention it was purchased by Facebook.

"Our team and technology will live on, and we will continue using our AI to build great visual search experiences for retail," GrokStyle said in the post. "As part of this next chapter, we are winding down our business."

The San Francisco startup, founded in 2015, does note on its LinkedIn page that it's been acquired by Facebook. That page also says GrokStyle has between two and 10 employees. 

Facebook declined to say how much it spent to acquire GrokStyle. Bloomberg reported earlier about the acquisition. 

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