Restaurant booking platform Resy has closed a series A funding round led by Airbnb, with participation from First Data Corporation, RSE Ventures, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
Founded out of New York in 2014, Resy offers a consumer-focused mobile app that promises people tables at “great restaurants” when they want it. The company also offers its software to restaurants, and works with more than a thousand eateries in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and 50 conurbations across the U.S.
While Airbnb is better known as the peer-to-peer platform that connects travelers with local accommodation around the world, the company has been pushing out into related experiential services too. Back in November, it introduced local experiences called “Trips” to its app, part of which involved a partnership with Resy that allowed Airbnb users to book local restaurants without leaving that app.
So Airbnb’s investment is building on an existing partnership between the two companies, and in truth it would not be entirely surprising if Airbnb ultimately acquired Resy outright should their partnership prove fruitful.
“Many of our most-treasured travel memories come from experiencing the local food,” explained Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. “Helping people find and book incredible local restaurants is a key part of us moving beyond just accommodation to focus on the whole trip. We can’t think of a better partner than Resy to help make this possible.”
Resy was cofounded by entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk; Michael Montero, founder of CrowdTwist and Fotolog; and Ben Leventhal, cofounder of Eater, a food blog network now owned by Vox Media. The company had previously raised a $2 million seed round back in 2014, and its latest round of funding comes just a few months after a similar short-notice restaurant booking service called Velocity raised a $22.5 million round, so it’s clear there’s appetite in the industry for delivering easy access to fine-dining experiences.
And with Airbnb now pot-committed, this should serve Resy well in terms of gaining mindshare among travelers seeking to experience local cuisine. “Resy and Airbnb share a vision for how people experience local venues,” added Resy CEO Leventhal. “We’re committed to building a product that allows anyone, anywhere, anytime to live like a local.”
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