The restaurant reservation startup Resy, a high-end competitor to OpenTable, is about to be sold, multiple sources tell Recode.
Resy is in late-stage, serious sale talks with a potential buyer, according to people briefed on the matter. The identity of the buyer and the sale price could not be immediately learned. Resy declined to comment.
Whatever company buys Resy is winning access to a newer generation of diners. And yet the sale shows how difficult it is for promising startups to disrupt existing big consumer internet platforms.
Resy is far smaller than OpenTable, which has more than 20 times as many restaurants on its platform, but it has been chipping away at the incumbent’s lead. A Recode analysis of the Resy-OpenTable battle this fall found that while OpenTable serviced about 60 percent of the restaurants that took reservations this summer in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, Resy only serviced about 10 percent of them.
But Resy was shown to be popular among the reservations highlighted by our sister site Eater.com — which is a good stand-in for the trendier, newer places to eat: 21 percent of those restaurants use Resy and 42 percent use OpenTable.
Resy, which is expanding overseas, charges restaurants a monthly fee to use their reservation platform, just like OpenTable does. OpenTable also charges either 25 cents or $1 for each reservation it makes. Restaurants have to choose between the two providers. Resy last November acquired a third competitor, Reserve.
Possible buyers for Resy could include Booking Holdings, the conglomerate that bought OpenTable in 2014.
Resy’s closest relationship has historically been with Airbnb, which led a venture capital-style $13 million investment in the young company in 2017.
The Airbnb investment was tied to a new partnership between the two companies. Airbnb guests can make reservations on Resy through Airbnb’s platform. Perhaps Resy will be a good model for future Airbnb partnerships in other travel-related industries that Airbnb has expressed interest in exploring, like airlines, which Airbnb could integrate into its platform.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.