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Reserve picks up dining startups Hail and zurvu

The digital concierge service will now include reservations and check-splitting features in its app

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 7, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3d10

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(Correction: it was inaccurately stated that these were the first ever two acquisitions for Reserve)

Fresh off raising a $15 million funding round in February, Reserve, a digital concierge service for the dining industry, is now expanding its capabilities, adding features for both payments and reservations, through its first ever two acquisitions.

The company has purchased two companies in the dining space: payment company Hail and reservation service zurvu, it was announced by Reserve in a blog post on Tuesday. No financial terms of either deal were disclosed.

The Santa Monica-based Hail is a platform for users to check into restaurants and then pay for their meal at any time, easily splitting up the check between members of their party. The app will likely be incorporated into the Reserve app, according to Greg Hong, Co-Founder and CEO of Reserve.

The company "is joining the Reserve team to help make payment in the Reserve app even more easy and seamless," he wrote. "Our diners love that their bill gets paid automatically through the Reserve app, and photos of our “Check is Paid” cards have spread like wildfire on social media."

Reserve was especially interested in Hail's check-splitting function, which has been a highly requested feature on Reserve.

"Through this acquisition we hope to bring this functionality to our service even more quickly," said Hong.

For Hail, they found that Reserve "shared a lot of our vision and values," Dan Anderson, Co-Founder and CEO of Hail, and Chris Hopkins, Co-Founder, wrote in a post on the site's homepage.

"Reserve is passionate in the same way we are about creating amazing experiences for diners and is focused on improving the dining experience for restaurants and guests. When we learned more, we instantly knew that Reserve was a service that we couldn’t wait to use, and we could easily imagine HAIL's users getting excited about it too," they said.

"By providing a single platform to help guests decide where to eat, enable them to get great tables at great restaurants, and make payment effortless, Reserve creates a more seamless and elegant dining experience."

Meanwhile, the New York-based zurvu is an OpenTable competitor, allowing guests to request tables using patent-pending waitlist technology, and to book publicly available or exclusively held tables.

While zurvu will continue to operate in the time being,  it will be eventually shutting down after an unspecified period of time, and its reservation service will be incorporated into Reserve’s service and technology.  

Update:  "Regarding the services, the Hail Pay app will be shut down immediately, and zuruv will wound down over time. Both companies will bring their people, technology and relationships to Reserve," a Reserve spokesperson has told VatorNews.

Founded in 2014, Reserve offers diners curated restaurant recommendations, and the ability to leave feedback after the meal. The company also allows the check to be automatically billed to the user's card, including the tip and Reserve's small concierge fee.

"Reserve has always been dedicated to helping guests have a better dining experience, from the minute they decided they wanted to dine all the way through payment," said Hong.

"Both zurvu and HAIL share Reserve’s hospitality-focused approach and care deeply about making the dining experience better for both diners and restaurants. Together, we all look forward to bringing the Reserve experience to more restaurants and guests, and making every part of the dining experience even better, from making a reservation all the way through to paying the check."

The company is backed by Human Ventures Capital, First Round, Lowercase Capital, Advancit Capital, Sherpa Ventures, SV Angel, Venture51, Visionnaire Ventures, Jared Leto, Jon Favreau and Will.i.am.

These are the second and third acquisitions for Reserve; in October 2014 the company announced that it had acquired SoonSpoon, a Boston-based restaurant startup, for an undisclosed amount. 

(Image source: blog.reserve.com)