American Express Buys Restaurant Booking Service Resy

This is the third acquisition of a dining-industry platform for American Express in less than two years.
American Express Buys Restaurant Booking Service Resy

American Express signed an agreement to buy the digital restaurant reservation booking and management platform Resy.

The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal. Resy reportedly has a valuation as high as $70 million. Founded in 2014, the company has raised $45 million. Its investors have included Gary Vaynerchuck, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group.

In a statement, American Express touted the synergies that the consumer-facing reservation app would bring and its growing suite of digital-first products. The companies said Resy has relationships with 4,000 restaurants in 154 U.S. cities and 10 countries, and seats more than 2.6 million diners a week.

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In November, Resy announced it was buying its competitor Reserve for an undisclosed amount. The company is still far smaller than OpenTable, which reportedly partners with some 51,000 restaurants globally. Resy focuses its business on more exclusive and expensive restaurants. In September 2018, Resy announced it would be the exclusive reservation partner for Danny Meyer’s USHG restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, Untitled, Marta, and Blue Smoke by early 2019.

The Resy acquisition is the third dining-industry platform American Express has acquired in the last two years. In October 2017, Amex reportedly acquired the U.K. fintech startup Cake Technologies, a restaurant and bar payment billing app, for $13.3 million. Earlier this year, it acquired Pocket Concierge, which helps customers get reservations at exclusive restaurants in Japan, for an undisclosed sum.

The companies said Resy’s brand and digital platform would still be led by Ben Leventhal, and that all full-time and part-time employees would move to Amex. Co-founder and chief technology officer Michael Montero would also remain in his role.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.