NEWSBYTE Etsy, the ecommerce website that focuses on handmade or vintage items, is opening its third machine learning centre, and its first in Canada. It is expected to open this autumn.
The US-based company already has machine learning centres in Brooklyn, New York, and in San Francisco.
The aim of the centres is to deepen users and customers’ relationship with the retail platform, learning their preferences and the types of item that are offered for sale, creating a smarter and more intuitive system over time.
“Etsy is dedicated to creating opportunities for creative entrepreneurs across Canada, and the addition of the Machine Learning Center of Excellence will deepen Etsy’s roots in Toronto’s robust tech community,” said Mike Fisher, Etsy CTO.
“We are excited to add more world-class talent from Canada to Etsy’s engineering team, so that we can continue to make our marketplace the best destination for buying and selling unique and special goods,” he added.
According to the company, the growing Canadian ecommerce market was a key factor in its decision to base the centre in Toronto. Canadian sellers have listed over two million items on the platform, making Canada one of Etsy’s top international markets.
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The company has been building up its technology expertise and infrastructure over the past year; in July 2017 it hired Fisher as its CTO after an extensive search. Fisher had been CTO of search engine marketing company Quigo, vice president of engineering and architecture at payment giant PayPal, and had held other roles at General Electric.
In December, Etsy announced that it had selected Google Cloud as its public cloud provider. Fisher said that this signalled a transformational change for the company, and believed it would position the company for growth by allowing it to focus on strategic initiatives, enhance site performance, and improve engineering efficiency.
He also said Google’s infrastructure would allow it to prioritise technologies such as machine learning to personalise the user experience.