Services & Software

Social commerce site Polyvore reaches 20M users

The fashion-oriented social commerce site says 2012 brought record revenue and user growth.

A Polyvore set.
Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

Before there was Pinterest, there was Polyvore.

The commerce site, which lets users curate and share virtual fashion and beauty collections, released some new numbers today, boasting a record year for revenue and user growth.

The site, which is about three years older than Pinterest, said today that it has 20 million users, roughly five million shy of Pinterest's last reported user base. But, while Pinterest was making headlines gaining users at lightning speed this year, Polyvore been bolstering its brand among the fashionistas and, the company said today, pulling in big retail dollars.

Polyvore users create visual collections, called sets, using real products. These products are linked to retail sites, and Polyvore gets 8 percent of every transaction made from through the site. When Polyvore users make purchases, they spend an overage of $220 on one order, the company revealed for the first time today in an inforgraphic. The single largest order totaled $67,315, a reflection of Polyvore's affluent user base.

Click to enlarge infographic. Polyvore

Thirty-three percent of the site's users make over $100,000, with an average income of $77,000. Of the top ten retailers linked to the site -- this includes and Nordstrom,com -- seven are luxury product sites.

Polyvore also does targeted advertising and product recommendations, which will be even more important in the future as Polyvore taps into its new users and their data.

"There's a lot of tech under the hood," Polyvore CEO Jess Lee told CNET recently.

Polyvore didn't say what its revenue was this year, just that it was more than double what the company made last year. Lee said the company became cash-flow positive earlier this year. This means it's making money on its own without financial help from its investors -- a big step for startups.

As the revenue grows, so does the company. Polyvore also announced the hire of a chief revenue officer today. The new CRO, Arnie Gullov-Singh, a former executive vice president at Fox Audience Network, was most recently CEO of Adly, a marketing platform on Twitter.

Polyvore's top market is in the United States, at the moment. Brazil is its fastest growing market in terms of Web traffic, and China is the fastest for sales, according to its infographic.

Growth in Polyvore's user base has accelerated in the last few weeks. In August, Polyvore said its user base was at 17 million. At the end of November, when Polyvore released its first ever mobile app, the figure was at roughly 19 million, according to the company. Lee said mobile traffic has increased from 15 percent to 25 percent in the last year, and a mobile app was the most requested feature from the Polyvore community.

It's a community the company spends a lot of time listening to, according to Lee.

"We're just engineers and geeks, we built tools and a platform to empower the community," she said.