After competitor GrubHub raised a boatload of cash and bought New York-based food delivery network Dotmenu, online food ordering service Seamless is making a major purchase for its expansion today—MenuPages. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Seamless is purchasing MenuPages from New York Media/New York Magazine (who bought MenuPages in 2008).
Seamless’ food ordering and delivery service promotes, markets and connects local restaurants with business and consumer customers across multiple platforms. The company’s restaurant network includes over 7,500 restaurants in 27 cities globally, including New York, London, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the company claims over one million individuals have ordered through the platform to date. Originally founded in 1999, Seamless says managed volume growth has is projected to exceed $400 million this year, and to date, Seamless has processed more than a billion and a half dollars in restaurant sales.
The addition of MenuPages to Seamless’ product makes sense. MenuPages is the most comprehensive online and mobile provider of constantly updated menus, and includes a database of 35,000 menus and more than 175,000 user-generated restaurant reviews.
Seamless will be expanding its reach beyond food ordering to become the resource for food and restaurant content, including menus, ratings, contact information, and reviews. This will also give Seamless a database of more than 40,000 restaurant partners and menus, and expands Seamless content and ordering capabilities to more than 50 cities worldwide.
MenuPages’ also offers a proprietary menu transcription and updating tool that allows menus and restaurant information to be updated efficiently. Together, the brands’ online properties draw 1.5 million unique visitors per month.
Mobile is also a major growth area for the properties, explains Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky. Seamless has seen 400,000 mobile downloads which account for over 15 percent of daily order volume, up from one percent in early 2010. MenuPages offers popular mobile apps, and combined Seamless and MenuPages have 886,000 in total mobile downloads.
Zabusky tells be that Seamless aims to be a comprehensive, accurate source of local restaurant content and services, whether that be to order food for delivery or to browse through a restaurant’s menus and reviews. And he says that there is enormous opportunity for the company to use its data (accumulated from over 10 years) to create a more personalized experience for both consumers and restaurants.
Seamless recently rebranded (and went through a redesign) from former name Seamless Web.
We’ve embedded the note sent from Zabusky to the Seamless team announcing the MenuPages acquisition below.
To the Seamless team –
I am pleased to share a very exciting and momentous announcement with you, one that cements Seamless’ place as the leader in both food delivery and pickup and restaurant-related content. Today, we announced that we have signed a definitive agreement to acquire MenuPages, the largest and most accurate online database of over 35,000 menus in major cities including New York City; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Boston; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C. and South Florida. The press release issued this morning is attached for your reference.
The success Seamless has enjoyed thus far depends upon two critical components: our dedicated and innovative team, and our loyal customers, clients and restaurant partners who provide valuable feedback we can use. Over the years, we have heard from team members and customers alike the suggestion to combine our resources with those of MenuPages: for the food delivery king to join forces with the leader in restaurant content. Today, we have made that a reality, and I am excited for several important reasons:
• Greater mobile reach, utilizing location-awareness: Together, Seamless and MenuPages will have almost one million app downloads. Expanding our reach will enable Seamless to build upon the already strong momentum we have established with our mobile platforms, making it easier than ever to order food and browse menus from wherever you are, using your mobile device.
• Increasing the breadth and depth of restaurant selection: As you know, one of our key differentiators is the market-leading number of restaurants we make available for online and mobile ordering. Together, Seamless and MenuPages will have the highest quality restaurant and menu content, making Seamless definitively the most trusted source for restaurant information and food ordering. MenuPages has more than 35,000 restaurants in its database, combined with our 7,500+ partners. Further, MenuPages has a proprietary menu transcription and updating tool that allows the company to process a significant number of restaurant menus every month and will allow Seamless to grow even faster than before.
• Increased focus on user-generated content: MenuPages is a comprehensive database of more than 175,000 ratings and reviews – all provided by its vibrant community of customers, which will enrich Seamless’ platform and enable us to be the most trusted and robust source for all things food and restaurant-related.
• Full completion and closed-loop customer experience: Seamless was already the leader in online and mobile food delivery and pickup, but we were thinking even bigger—we wanted to be relevant for all restaurant meals. People use MenuPages to not only find restaurants for delivery or pickup, but also for sit-down dining experiences, a meal historically out-of-scope on Seamless. Now, Seamless can extend our offering and value-add to new and existing customers, clients and restaurant partners even further.
• Greater breadth, depth and number of cities (and neighborhoods) will allow us to maintain and expand the most complete network of all-things-food that exists to more than 50 cities worldwide. The pairing of two great brands that are already intertwined into the fabric of urban life will create one premium brand: Seamless.
Seamless and MenuPages have been partners for several years, and this acquisition is a natural next step in our relationship. Together, we will provide our customers with an invaluable resource. This is an incredibly exciting time for our company, and I would like to thank you all for your continued hard work and dedication. While you may not see any immediate-term changes at Seamless, we will immediately welcome Tom Bohan (Director, MenuPages) and his outstanding 19-person team to our family, as Seamless employees.
A few months ago, when we reached another corporate milestone, I sent a note to all of you that said, “Our best days are still ahead.” Today, I feel that same optimism and anticipation for Seamless’ continued growth and success.