Online reservation service OpenTable is set to expand its market-leading platform after it announced that it has agreed a deal to acquire restaurant finding and dish sharing app Foodspotting for $10 million in cash.
OpenTable says that the acquisition will help it to “deliver a richer visual and social experience for diners and provide its restaurant customers with new opportunities to showcase their offerings,” assisting it in helping users discover and reserve a restaurant that is suited to their tastes.
The acquisition follows a deal between the two companies that saw Foodspotting provide dish photos on its service, and even though the team is now on-board, its new owner has said it plans to “maintain the Foodspotting site and mobile apps on a standalone basis.”
“We’re proud to welcome the talented Foodspotting team to the OpenTable family,” said Matt Roberts , Chief Executive Officer of OpenTable. “The Foodspotting team is as passionate about dining as we are, and we’re looking forward to leveraging their unique expertise in the areas of imagery and social sharing to enrich the OpenTable experience for diners and restaurants in new and exciting ways.”
It’s another big move by OpenTable to ensure it stays ahead of its competition and delivers more value to its users. In September 2012, the company teamed up with Foursquare to allow its users to book a reservation via the Explore tab inside the location-based app.
Foodspotting enjoyed an impressive 2012. The company relaunched itself as a discovery service, seeing more than 3 million downloads with 2 million monthly sessions in the following months.
Later that year, Foodspotting launched a Holiday Rewards program in San Francisco, offering redeemable points when users take pictures of their food at select restaurants. While the program itself was interesting, it also suggested it would be a pilot for what appears to be a new monetization strategy, aimed at knocking out daily deals by letting merchants “reach foodseekers, not just dealseekers.”
As part of the acquisition, Alexa Andrzejewski , Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Foodspotting, will join OpenTable as a lead user interface designer.
She notes: “While working with OpenTable as partners we realized we could create more intelligent, seamless and beautiful experiences if we had the opportunity to integrate our products more deeply. We look forward to contributing our mobile, social and design expertise in ways that will delight both diners and restaurants.”