Social eating website buys Israel-founded competitor EatWith

The purchase of US-based company by Europe’s VizEat will make it the largest communal dining platform in the world

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

An EatWith meal hosted in Israel (Courtesy EatWith)
An EatWith meal hosted in Israel (Courtesy EatWith)

VizEat, Europe’s largest social eating platform, said Thursday it has acquired Israeli-founded competitor EatWith, which is North America’s dominant communal dining player.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will enable San Francisco, California-based EatWith, founded in 2012 by Israelis Guy Michlin and Shemer Schwartz, to join forces with VizEat and get access to new resources, according to a statement by VizEat. It also makes VizEat a global leader in the social eating experiences field, the statement said.

VizEat was founded in Paris in 2014 and has hosted some 25,000 guests in 130 countries via its app, which allows tourists and locals to discover and share meals and food workshops and tours around the world.  In September 2016, VizEat raised its second funding round, securing €5 million ($6 million) to date from investors.

EatWith has a high-end community of hosts in 50 countries around the globe. The platform has a strong presence in the US, Europe and Israel, and focuses on providing dining experiences at locals’ homes.

Hosts advertise their meals on the EatWith website, giving a general idea of what they will be serving, the number of people at the table and the cost per person.

The acquisition of EatWith will widen VizEat’s global offering and increase the number of food experiences available to its guests on the platform. EatWith will continue its existing partnership with TripAdvisor on the “Dine with a Local Chef” section, the statement said.

“Both EatWith and VizEat share the same values: we’re passionate about connecting travelers with local people around the dinner table, allowing travelers to discover the culture from the inside by meeting real people in their home setting,” said Jean Michel Petit, the co-founder of VizEat. “This acquisition will enable VizEat to bring greater variety of authentic local experiences to more people across the globe, alongside welcoming additional hosts from all over the world into our community.”

“At EatWith, our vision has always been to bring people together, one meal at a time, and our mission to facilitate this has been to build a technology platform that enables talented food entrepreneurs to be able to share their passion and love of food with a global community,” said Susan Kim, CEO of EatWith in the statement. The combined entity with VizEat will become “the largest social dining platform in the world,” she said.

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