Israeli startup EatWith, which developed a social eating platform enabling users to order meals from people around the world, has been bought by European company VizEat, which is in the same market. The deal was reported on the TechCrunch website, and confirmed by the acquiring company, but financial terms were not disclosed.
VizEat is active in 110 countries. It was founded by CEO Jean Michel Petit and COO Camille Rumani.
EatWith was founded in 2012. According to IVC, it raised $1.2 million in 2012, and a further $8 million in 2013. Another round that raised an undisclosed sum was held in 2016. Among the investors in EatWith are venture capital funds Greylock and Genesis, alongside private investors such as Wix CEO Avishai Abrahami, Eilon Tirosh, who has founded and sold several startups, and entrepreneur Mordechai (Moti) Kirschenbaum.
The founders of the company are Guy Michlin and Shemer Schwarz. Its CEO is Susan Kim, who previously worked at eBay and Google. According to EatWith's website, Michlin heads business development at the company and Schwarz is CTO, but according to TechCrunch the founders have already left EatWith, and "key team members of the EatWith team in San Francisco and Tel-Aviv are joining the combined entity."
Bloomberg has described EatWith as "The Airbnb of home-cooked meals" while in 2014 CNBC compared the company to Uber, noting that the company was founded to enable tourists to try local meals, but that it also enables locals to dine in the homes of strangers and meet new people. According to the company, it operates in 200 countries and 11,000 meals have been arranged through it.
In an interview with "Globes" G Magazine last year, EatWith Israel COO Noam Klinger said, "It's amazing to see the response of the Israeli market to this concept and the extent to which the public is open to it and prepared to try it. People want to be surprised, to be excited. They're looking for a whole experience, which starts with going somewhere unknown, to have a look around the host's home, to see what they have in the living room and peep into the kitchen." That article also stated that prices on the site range between NIS 100 and NIS 300 per diner. Klinger explained that the business model is based on the customer paying in advance on the website via the venture's secure payments system. "We transfer the payment to the host, less a 13% commission. Our aim is for the hosts to succeed in building independent, profitable businesses for themselves," Klinger said.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 7, 2017
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