The merger was announced recently by the two companies, after they signed a definitive agreement that’s designed to accelerate the growth of their online food delivery services. The GrubHub-Seamless merger also hopes to drive additional restaurant and diner value as well as enhanced financial strength amidst the rapid growth of the online food ordering industry.
“We are excited to combine the strengths of these two dynamic organizations in an industry that is rapidly gaining traction,” said GrubHub co-founder and CEO Matt Maloney, who will also be the CEO of the yet unnamed merged group. “We believe the merger will enhance the products we are able to offer both our diners and restaurants. GrubHub and Seamless share a common goal to generate more business for local takeout restaurants while providing the best possible service to diners. By combining our complementary restaurant and diner networks, we are well-positioned for continued growth in a massive market.”
“By bringing together some of the industry’s most celebrated products, including Seamless’s award-winning iPad app and GrubHub’s innovative Track Your Grub, we will be able to drive more value to all company stakeholders,” added Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky, who will serve as the merged company’s President. “Both companies also share a strong commitment to provide world-class service to restaurants, diners and corporate clients. This merger is an opportunity to glean the best from each platform and improve upon what we bring to all of our partners.”
Founded in 2004 in Chicago, GrubHub is available in more than 500 cities across the US, with over 20,000 member restaurants and 250,000 restaurant menus. Meanwhile, Seamless – launched originally in 1999 as “SeamlessWeb” – is available in more than 12,000 member restaurants in the US and the UK, offering mobile applications for ordering delivery and takeout food. (Seamless also owns MenuPages, a provider of up-to-date menu content and aggregated restaurant reviews and ratings.)
In an analysis on Bloomberg Businessweek, Sam Grobart said that the merger strengthens the companies’ ability to leverage the power of online reviews. This might then create a sort of Amazon for the entire food and restaurant industry.
“Seamless and GrubHub don’t just feature menus and take credit-card numbers for orders – each restaurant has reviews from other people who have ordered from there,” Grobart wrote. “While the convenience of online ordering is what gets you to come to GrubHub or Seamless, it’s those reviews that, in part, will keep you coming back. Once you’ve fallen for ordering lunch or dinner online, you’re only interested in restaurants with that capability. If you want to see the ultimate example of reviews combined with purchases, take a look at Amazon.com. It is both the place to buy things and the place to research what to buy, based on its vast network of reviewers.”
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