Paris based VizEat has acquired San Francisco headquartered EatWith to take social eating global. VizEat pioneered the concept of allowing local hosts to open up their homes to tourists looking for authentic food experiences while travelling. EatWith, the North American answer to VizEat, is centred on bringing real food related experiences to everyone. The acquisition will see EatWith sit under the VizEat brand, widening the scope of social eating experiences to a broader audience.
“Both EatWith and VizEat share the same values: we’re passionate about connecting travellers with local people around the dinner table, allowing travellers to discover the culture from the inside by meeting real people in their home setting,” Jean-Michel Petit, co-founder and CEO at VizEat said. “We’re thrilled that 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.”
VizEat was founded in July 2014 and in three years has grown its community to more than 25,000 hosts across 130 countries, and is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese. The start-up connects travellers with local hosts that can provide authentic immersive food experiences in their homes, such as dinners, cooking classes, food tours and more in a new area where travel tech meets the sharing economy.
EatWith was founded in 2012, and currently 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 delivering authentic dining experiences at locals’ homes. “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,” Susan Kim, CEO at EatWith said. “We are beyond excited that EatWith will now be a part of VizEat, making this combined entity, far and away, the largest social dining platform in the world.”
The acquisition will widen VizEat’s global reach and increase the number of food experiences available to its guests on the platform. Additionally, VizEat will grow out its offering for its global partners within the tourism and travel industry, while EatWith will continue its existing partnership with TripAdvisor on a feature that allows users to dine with a local chef.
VizEat is available to those interested in either becoming a guest or host, which opens food travel experiences up to virtually anyone. Apple selected VizEat as one of the top three apps of 2016, and CEO Tim Cook came for a VizEat lunch in Paris early February in support of the start-ups growth on the iOS platform.
VizEat’s popularity has steadily risen over the past few years, and is now commonly referred to as the ‘Airbnb of food’. In November 2015, VizEat teamed up with Airbnb for their Airbnb Open Conference; the biggest social dining event ever with 1,000 guests from 90 countries sharing a dinner in 150 Parisian homes. In September 2016, VizEat raised its second funding round, securing €5 million to-date from investors including Eurovestech. Previously VizEat acquired a similar start-up, Cookening, in 2015.