Japanese restaurant reservation platform Pocket Concierge has been acquired by global payments firm American Express, according to an announcement.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Pocket Concierge works with more than 800 restaurants throughout the country. Founded in 2011 by former chef Kei Tokado, the startup secured a $600,000 early investment from 500 Startups and other investors. The funding was one of the Silicon Valley VC’s first deals in Japan.
“The team was able to bring the best culinary experiences in Japan online and make them accessible in English and Chinese. And their timing was impeccable: inbound tourists to Japan have increased from just under 10 million to over 30 million in the last 5 years,” James Riney, head of 500 Startups Japan, wrote in a blog post announcing the AmEx acquisition.
American Express said Pocket Concierge will provide its card members with additional access to reservations at top restaurants in Japan.
“Our card members love to dine out, so we are always exploring ways to provide them with greater access to reservations across the globe,” said Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president of global loyalty and benefits at American Express.
“Pocket Concierge’s reservation platform and extensive relationships with top Japanese restaurants provide us with a great opportunity to continue to enhance and expand upon the dining access we provide to our card members across the globe,” he added.
Last year, American Express had acquired India-based travel app Mezi, reportedly for around $125-150 million, and UK-based fintech startup Cake for $13.3 million.