Yelp announced on Thursday that it will acquire restaurant reservation system SeatMe, spurring whispers that the American company will eventually dump its OpenTable integration.
SeatMe is very similar to OpenTable, in that it allows restaurants and venues to manage their waitlist and serve up reservations. Yelp, which mostly offers internet ratings and review services, currently features OpenTable integration for reservations. However, many reports believe Yelp will soon begin replacing OpenTable with SeatMe functionality.
"By bringing SeatMe to Yelp, we can further enhance the consumer experience by extending the convenience of easy, online reservations directly through Yelp to thousands of currently unserved businesses," wrote Yelp in a blog post.
As for SeatMe's existing services, including a website and iPad app, the company said in an email to customers that nothing was changing. It plans to continue providing the "same great product and service".
Today's acquisition news comes just a few weeks after Yelp unveiled the Yelp Platform. It's a "transact" platform for the main site and mobile apps, enabling users to place orders through Yelp listings and process payments without having to exit.
Therefore, between SeatMe and Yelp Platform, Yelp looks as though it wants a future in which customers are closely tied to in-house products.
Update: According to TechCrunch, Yelp acquired SeatMe for $2.2 million in cash and 263,000 shares of common stock. That means the deal cost roughly $12.7 million.
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