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January 16, 2019

American Express buys restaurant reservation platform Pocket Concierge

Financial services company American Express has acquired Japanese restaurant booking start-up Pocket Concierge for an undisclosed amount. 

Financial services company American Express has acquired Japanese restaurant booking start-up Pocket Concierge for an undisclosed amount.

Pocket Concierge provides online booking and payment service with high-end restaurants, including Michelin-starred ones, in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto and Osaka in Japan.

The platform was founded in 2011 and currently has ties with more than 800 premium restaurants in the country.

This acquisition will offer the card members of American Express with extra access to book ‘top restaurants’ in Japan.

American Express Global Loyalty and Benefits senior vice-president Chris Cracchiolo said: “Our cardmembers love to dine out, so we are always exploring ways to provide them with greater access to reservations across the globe.

“We are always exploring ways to provide them with greater access to reservations across the globe.”

“Pocket Concierge’s reservation platform and extensive relationships with top Japanese restaurants provide us with a great opportunity to continue to enhance and expand upon the dining access we provide to our card members across the globe.”

Following the deal, Pocket Concierge will carry on providing services to its current customers and restaurant partners for some time.

Pocket Concierge founder and CEO Kei Tokado said: “Pocket Concierge is a service which was created on the back of the passion and inspiration I received while working as a chef, paired with the experience of my childhood around my family’s restaurant.

“It is a great pleasure to work with American Express, a company which has great relationships with restaurants all around the globe.”

Venture capital firm 500 Startups Japan made its first investments in Pocket Concierge after its launch.

In the past five years, tourists to Japan have increased from under ten million to more than 30 million, according to James Riney, the head of 500 Startups Japan.

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