Yelp has just announced that they’ve agreed to acquire SeatMe, the startup that set out to battle OpenTable in the restaurant reservation space.
No word yet on the acquisition price, though we’re digging. Update: Looks like they acquired them for $2.2 million in cash and 263,000 shares of common stock, pinning the acquisition price at a total up to $12.7 million.
SeatMe’s main offering is part web service, part iPad app. The web app lets restaurant owners easily add an online reservation system to their own site or Facebook page, while the iPad app lets the restaurant’s host/hostess manage their tables on the fly. It also has a few other neat tricks, like texting customers when their table is ready, or flagging a return customer’s known allergens and seating preferences.
Competitor OpenTable has been powering Yelp’s integrated reservation since around June of 2010 — this acquisition presumably means that that deal will dry up sooner than later (Yelp tells us they “believe SeatMe complements [their] existing partnerships.”) As pointed out by commenter Max Lemos, below:
While at LeWeb London 2013, Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s CEO, was pressured time and time again to talk about their open table partnership. No wonder he was so tight lipped future plans and if anything spoke a little to rosey about them.
Yelp says that they’ll be bringing the SeatMe team in to help them build out their own reservation system, expanding their time-slotting offerings from just restaurants and night clubs to things like spas, dentists, and salons. As for what this all means for current SeatMe customers? That… goes unmentioned. We’re reaching out to Yelp/SeatMe for clarification there.
Update: From an email sent to SeatMe’s current customers, it sounds like the service will go on:
How does this change your SeatMe service? It doesn’t. We will continue to provide the same great product and service that we hope you’ve come to love and rely on.
We’d actually spotted SeatMe listed as a “potential acquisition” on one of Square’s hiring pages (of all places), so we had a feeling that the company was looking for a buyer. Seems like Yelp won out in the end, though. That same page also listed the crowd-sourced design startup Chirply as a potential acquisition — so keep your eyes peeled there.