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January 30, 2013

OpenTable Buys Foodspotting for $10 Million

By Shankar Pandiath, TMCnet Contributor

OpenTable, the San Francisco-based online restaurant reservation service, recently announced that it is buying Foodspotting, the social media start-up, for around $10 million.

Foodspotting is a smartphone application that lets people find, share and rate photos of food. It was launched sometime during 2010 and since then it has been downloaded over three million times.

OpenTable allows people to make reservations online, or through its mobile app, without having to book a table by talking to an actual person. It is currently used by over 26,000 restaurants globally.

OpenTable intends to use Foodspotting to enhance its reservation services and make booking a table a bit more social. In other words, the next time an OpenTable customer makes a reservation, they may receive Foodspotting photos in their confirmation e-mail. 


Image via itunes.com

Matthew Roberts, the chief executive officer of OpenTable, told the New York Times that he envisions “a rich menu with images instead of just words and recommendations of dishes you may like.”

He also envisions waiters “carrying around a tablet loaded with the OpenTable app, which would display a patron’s dining history and show his food preferences or cocktail of choice.”

Alexa Andrzejewski, Foodspotting's founder, along with 10 of its employees will be joining OpenTable to help with the site and the application moving forward.

Roberts said that their primary objective was to provide rich content which would be intimate and social and most of all, mobile. Roberts added that the two companies realized some time in 2012 that it would be synergistic for them to work together.

"Foodspotting is a really fantastic fit for each of these things. We think there is a big opportunity for you to look at a restaurant and look at the dishes that were loved at that restaurant by your friends as a way to inform the dining decision," Roberts says.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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