Yelp has announced that they have acquired online reservation startup and rising OpenTable competitior SeatMe in order to "further enhance the consumer experience by extending the convenience of easy, online reservations directly through Yelp to thousands of currently unserved businesses."
The total purchase price is $12.7 million ($2.2 in cash and the rest in 263,000 shares).
SeatMe's 15 employees will join the Yelp team in Q4 of 2013.
"I am excited to welcome SeatMe's employees and customers to Yelp," said Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp co-founder and CEO. "SeatMe has developed a truly compelling product for restaurants and bars of any size. With approximately one million U.S. businesses listed on Yelp in the restaurant and nightlife categories, we believe SeatMe will add online reservation capabilities to a broader market while complementing our existing partnerships. Additionally, SeatMe provides us with yet another way to close the loop between local businesses and consumers."
In terms of closing that loop, Yelp just unveiled their new initiative that focuses more on transactions - and keeping those transactions on Yelp. The newly launched Yelp Platform is starting with food delivery, offering users the ability to order, pay for, or schedule delivery at a few participating restaurants.
Yelp says it's just the beginning of bringing more transactions to the site:
"In the coming months, we’ll add categories like spas, yoga studios, salons and dentist appointments starting with Booker, Intuit’s Demandforce and MindBody. Consumers can expect us to add more categories in the future," says Yelp.
And more to that "closing the loop" gameplan, Yelp just launched its new "Call to Action" feature which lets businesses promote transaction types of their choosing directly on their Yelp business listing. It's basically a way for businesses to direct users to the exact, offsite place where they can buy their services.
"We're excited to join the Yelp team and help connect consumers with great local businesses," said Alexander Kvamme, SeatMe's co-founder and chief executive officer. "We are committed to providing an innovative, easy-to-use and affordable restaurant management system that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. We target a large, underserved market of restaurant and nightlife establishments, and we're excited about the opportunity to significantly extend our market reach."