- Online reservation platform, Resy, is reportedly in late-stage talks with a potential buyer, multiple sources told Recode.
- Sources would not identity the buyer or the sales price at this time.
- The reservation platform has long struggled to compete against OpenTable, which has 20 times more restaurants on its site. Over the summer, OpenTable garnered reservations for 60% of restaurants offering them in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Comparatively, Resy took reservations from only 10% of restaurants in those markets.
The online reservation industry has been getting crowded, with Yelp and now Google dipping their toes into the market. Google is rolling out an AI to make reservations in addition to its ongoing focus on online reviews. Yelp has also gained momentum in the reservation space, especially after it adopted a digital waitlist system. In December, it booked 22 million reservations, many of which were driven by its mobile app.
Resy has made several moves to gain more prominence in the space, but an acquisition suggests that it is still struggling to compete against OpenTable — which reportedly services about 50,000 restaurants — and growing competition from Yelp and Google.
This latest news comes a few months after Resy bought Reserve in November, allowing it to scale quickly to 4,000 U.S. restaurants and 10,000 global restaurants. The platform has focused on curated dining experiences, such as its Off Menu Week dining program that offered diners access to experimental menu items. It scored partnerships with high profile restaurants, such as Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, which moved all of its restaurants to Resy in September. Last April, it added additional features and project enhancements to help restaurants decrease gaps between reservations, and integrated with Upserve to provide additional insights on guest preferences.
While a buyer has yet to come forward, Recode speculated that likely acquirers could be Booking Holdings, OpenTable’s owner, or Airbnb, which headed up a $13 million investment in Resy in 2017. As part of that investment, Airbnb integrated Resy into its platform, allowing for Airbnb guests to make reservations through its travel site.
The home-sharing company is also in buying mode, purchasing HotelTonight on Thursday. Having a restaurant reservation platform would help the company round out its hospitality offerings.
If Booking Holdings were to acquire Resy, the consolidation could provide more of an opening for Yelp and Google to carve a larger footprint in this space, especially since both are integrating innovative technologies as part of their platforms.