Airbnb just dropped some serious cash in the lap of restaurant-reservation app Resy, marking Airbnb's first official foray into restaurant booking tied with travel and lodging. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the partnership comes with a Resy board seat for Airbnb, and was originally announced late last year, but now we learn that it's worth $13 million in funding, meaning that Airbnb is the lead investor in Resy's current funding round.
The move points to Airbnb's intention to become a one-stop shop for travelers, and it's no doubt connected to the aforementioned launch of the company's Trips section featuring curated city guides and "Experiences."
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky issued a statement saying, "Many of our most-treasured travel memories come from experiencing the local food. 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."
As Venturebeat reports, Resy was founded two years ago in New York in part by a cofounder of Eater.com, Ben Leventhal, who serves as Resy's CEO. Initially, back in the heady days of 2014, the app allowed ballers and wealthy foodinistas to pay for reservations at high-end dining destinations, ostensibly allowing them to bid up the price of a last-minute seat before they'd even ordered any food. Resy has, wisely, backed off of that model, and now just functions like a more curated, higher end version of OpenTable. Resy is dwarfed in market share, however, with about 1,000 restaurants in 50 markets, compared to OpenTable's 40,000.
Resy is also, as the Journal points out, integrating some new technology into their system, for instance providing Apple Watch notifications to waitstaff when a new table is seated in their section. For diners, the Resy app provides push notifications in real time as new tables become available at desirable times, and they've already done an integration with the Uber app.
The Airbnb app is expected to feature Resy reservation integration by April, according to the Journal, though Eater says that may happen as soon as February.
In related news, Hearst publications is launching an Airbnb magazine this year, dedicated to "all things Airbnb."