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American Express buys Japanese restaurant booking app Pocket Concierge

Author : Ojaswita Kutepatil | Published Date : 2019-01-16 
  • The service was reportedly launched in 2013 to help customers book quality restaurants that have months-long waiting lists for reservations.
     
  • The company currently works with more than 800 restaurants and has made available its app in English, Japanese and Chinese.

U.S. card issuer American Express has recently announced that it picked up a Japanese restaurant-booking mobile application Pocket Concierge for its acquisition deal.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Pocket Concierge, a restaurant reservation platform that provides customers with access to elite restaurants in Japan. In addition, the app also provides the users with in-depth information on other necessary details such as whether the place is child-friendly and it has the right décor.

The service was reportedly launched in 2013 to help customers book quality restaurants that have months-long waiting lists for reservations. The company currently works with more than 800 restaurants and has made available its app in English, Japanese and Chinese. TableAll and Open Table have been identified as the closest competitors.

American Express revealed that it plans to integrate Pocket Concierge with its card services. The Japanese restaurant booking company meanwhile will continue as a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Express.

Pocket Concierge was previously known as Pocket Menu and one of the two key investments made by Japan’s 500 Startups, after Spacee – the other startup which helps business rent out their meeting rooms and unused desk space. It further reports that Pocket Concierge’s CEO and Kei Tokado was not only a former chef but also a consultant for top restaurants, who will be able to leverage his connections well.

If industry experts are to be believed, this acquisition is an apt instance depicting cross-border M&A opportunity in Japan. They further claimed that many people doubted the possibilities of acquiring local companies in Japan, and Pocket Concierge in this case not only proved that to be viable, but also found place in one of the most globally respected companies.

It has been reported that this is not the only acquisition for American Express. The U.S. card issuer also included the U.K. based fintech startup Cake and travel assistant Mezi under its umbrella last year.

About Author

Ojaswita Kutepatil

Ojaswita Kutepatil

Equipped with an ardent interest in writing, Ojaswita Kutepatil, a content developer by profession, presently writes articles for fractovia.org and a couple of other portals. When she isn’t harnessing the power of the pen, she loves to pursue her hobbies of cooking, reading, and crafting, to name a few. She can be contacted at- [email protected] | https://twitter.com/ojaswita_k

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