Apple reportedly in talks to buy small social commerce site

The goal of acquiring The Fancy, Business Insider reports, is to better leverage the 400 million or so credit cards Apple has on file at its iTunes store.

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Apple is in talks to acquire social commerce site The Fancy to further entrench its position in the growing e-commerce arena, sources tell Business Insider.

Backed by co-founders of Facebook and Twitter, the site is a Pinterest rival that allows users to make lists of things they find interesting. The goal of the acquisition, BI reports, is to better leverage the 400 million or so credit cards Apple has on file at its iTunes store.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who usually shies away from larger social-networking sites, reportedly started using The Fancy after meeting with the company's co-founder and CEO, Joe Einhorn, at Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley conference earlier this year.

The market for social commerce has been red hot lately, and Pinterest has experienced phenomenal growth recently, doubling its number of daily unique visitors to 4 million in the first four months of this year, according to data released last month by social-media marketer Tamba.

Although the 20-person startup is much smaller than rival Pinterest, The Fancy is "much farther along in linking its users to transactions," taking a 10 percent cut of purchases, BI reported.

The Fancy sports a $100 million valuation after a $10 million round last fall that was led by PPR, the company behind Gucci. A 2010 round of funding raised $6 million. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes are members of the board. Other investors include Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the co-founders of venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.