SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP), the company that connects consumers with great local businesses, today announced it has acquired Nowait, a restaurant technology company with the industry’s leading waitlist system and seating tool. Previously, the company announced a strategic investment in Nowait and integrated its waitlist experience into the Yelp app, enabling restaurants to share real-time seating availability and providing an easy way for hungry diners to get in line remotely. Nowait is the perfect complement to booking tables with Yelp Reservations and ordering food for pickup and delivery through Yelp Eat24.
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Nowait was founded in 2010 as the first mobile network for waitlist restaurants that enables users to discover real-time seating availability and remotely add their name to the waitlist. With Nowait integrated into Yelp, diners can move directly from their restaurant search to getting in line via the app, all within a few taps. The service also supports real-time communication between the restaurant and the customer. Nowait is live at about 4,000 restaurants across the United States and Canada with the ability to offer waitlist functionality and front of the house management to casual dining establishments. According to Statista, 54% of Americans have eaten in a casual dining restaurant monthly, three times the percentage who have eaten at fine dining restaurants.
The Nowait system replaces paper lists or handheld buzzers with a simple experience delivered via smart phone, helping to drive more business for busy restaurants while meeting the needs of time strapped diners.
"Yelp already plays a big role in millions of purchase decisions every day as consumers actively seek out businesses and services that save them time and money. The full integration of Nowait allows us to provide real-time seating availability that better equips diners to make informed decisions," said Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp co-founder and chief executive officer. "Nowait has quickly become an important feature for Yelp users and a valuable addition to our overall restaurant offerings. With this acquisition, we’ll make even bigger strides in the restaurant industry by allowing Yelp users to more quickly move from search and discovery to transacting at a local business."
"We’ve had a successful partnership and we’re excited to align fully with Yelp to drive even faster adoption. Together we’ll have the leading waitlist system in the restaurant industry paired with the largest engaged consumer base," said Ware Sykes, Nowait’s chief executive officer.
The $40 million acquisition of the entirety of Nowait will be paid in cash, and includes the partial stake which Yelp acquired previously. The transaction, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies, closed on February 28, 2017 and the purchase price will be reflected in Yelp's first quarter 2017 financial statements.
Yelp Inc. (http://www.yelp.com) connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp has taken root in major metros in more than 30 countries. Approximately 24 million unique devices1 accessed Yelp via the Yelp app, approximately 73 million unique visitors visited Yelp via desktop computer2 and approximately 65 million unique visitors visited Yelp via mobile website3 on a monthly average basis during the fourth quarter of 2016. By the end of the same quarter, Yelpers had written approximately 121 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists.
1 Calculated as the number of unique devices accessing the app on a monthly average basis over a given three-month period, according to internal Yelp logs.
2 Calculated as the number of “users,” as measured by Google Analytics, accessing Yelp via desktop computer on a monthly average basis over a given three-month period.
3 Calculated as the number of “users,” as measured by Google Analytics, accessing Yelp via the mobile website on a monthly average basis over a given three-month period.
This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, the anticipated benefits of Yelp’s acquisition of Nowait, Yelp’s strategy, plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to Nowait, including with respect to offering Nowait products to Yelp-listed businesses, and other statements that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements are based on Yelp’s current expectations, forecasts and assumptions, and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and timing of events could differ materially from those predicted or implied in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks associated with the acquisition, such as the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully or that such integration may be more difficult, time consuming or costly than expected; risks related to future opportunities and plans for the combined company, including whether Nowait’s customers will continue to use the service following the acquisition, whether Yelp will be able to leverage its large distribution network to increase the customers using the service and whether the acquisition will drive engagement on Yelp; risks related to the potential disruption of both businesses in connection with the transaction; and the competitive and regulatory environment while Yelp continues to expand and introduce new products as new laws and regulations related to Internet companies come into effect. The forward-looking statements in this release do not include the potential impact of any acquisitions or divestitures that may be announced and/or completed after the date hereof.