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$AXP ---> American Express buys restaurant reservation service Resy

NEW YORK (AP) — American Express is buying the online reservation startup Resy, the companies announced Wednesday, the latest move by AmEx to establish and maintain a foothold for its card members in some of the world's most desired restaurants.
AmEx and Resy, founded in 2014, declined to disclose the terms of the deal. However, in early 2017 Resy announced it raised $13 million from a group of investors that included Airbnb, valuing the company at around $70 million.
New York-based Resy is an online reservation management service. It allows diners to make reservations and also serves as a platform for restaurants to manage their upcoming reservations. While OpenTable has a bigger market share, Resy often works with more exclusive restaurants that are harder to get into or serve higher-spending clientele.
AmEx's purchase comes as the credit card industry has shifted its marketing tactics in the last several years. Credit card companies want to be thought of as avenues to "experiences," as the industry likes to say, such as travel and dining, concerts and Broadway shows. Instead of redeeming credit card points for a blender, AmEx and Chase say they want you to get a ticket to Paris. Hopefully the customer will then use that same credit card to reserve a Parisian hotel and dine. If you do want a blender, they do offer them though .
While AmEx has long had an established presence in the travel industry — partnering with airlines like Delta, and hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott — its presence in dining is more in the background. It offers its Global Dining Collection to card members, where customers can get reservations at hard-to-get restaurants. AmEx says the top request on its concierge customer service line is for restaurant reservations.
AmEx is eager to hold onto its card members in a market where it now competes directly with Chase's Sapphire Reserve and Citi's Prestige Cards. One way is to bolster its access to the restaurants where its card members want to dine.
This is AmEx's third acquisition of dining industry platforms in less than two years. In 2017 it bought Cake Technologies, a United Kingdom-based restaurant platform. In January, AmEx bought Pocket Concierge, which helps customers get reservations at exclusive restaurants in Japan.

Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 By Ken Sweet, AP Business Writer


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  2. American Express (+0.56%) is acquiring restaurant reservation service Resy for an undisclosed amount. Before tax and tip, Resy was last valued at $53.6 million in 2017.

    The Resy lowdown:

    Its reservation platform has been helping diners not look awkward in restaurant lobbies since 2014. Working with 4,000 restaurants in 10 countries, it’s become the largest privately held restaurant reservation service in the U.S.
    Resy has also started selling software to restaurants looking to beef up their data operations.
    The AmEx thought process
    When it comes to deciding between credit cards, there are only two questions high-powered consumers ask: 1) Which is heavier and 2) which offers better experiences beyond your standard perks.

    Resy is just one of several recent acquisitions that show AmEx is aggressively boosting its appeal to top travelers and diners. Since 2017, it’s bought Cake (restaurant bill splitting), Mezi (virtual travel assistant), LoungeBuddy (airport lounge booking), and at least two others.