I first discovered UrbanSpoon when the Apple App store launched. It was the first app I downloaded for my phone and continues to be one of my most used. It uses the GPS but also lets you shake the iPhone to get sort of a slot machine effect and figure out “Where are we eating tonight?” As a wine blogger, I often review restaurants and have used UrbanSpoon to my advantage, making sure my reviews are accessible from their web site. From a blogger’s perspective, I’ve always received prompt customer service/tech support from the UrbanSpoon team.
IAC announced today that they have acquired UrbanSpoon. This does have some natural tie-ins, as UrbanSpoon is already integrating CitySearch content. CitySearch is part of IAC. IAC is also an investor in OpenTable, which is something I’d love to see integrated with UrbanSpoon. According to the press release,
For IAC, Urbanspoon rounds out a portfolio of premium local brands which include Citysearch, ServiceMagic, InsiderPages, and strategic investments in OpenTable and MerchantCircle. With a wealth of trusted restaurant content, an avid user community, and a leading iPhone application, the acquisition of Urbanspoon will further solidify IAC’s leadership role in the local space. Integrating Urbanspoon’s content across IAC’s local sites, including Citysearch and InsiderPages, further reiterates IAC’s commitment to building a robust infrastructure of local content for consumers all across the web.
UrbanSpoon is to remain an independent company, still based in Seattle, that reports to Jay Herratti who oversees Citysearch, InsiderPages and Evite. According to MobileCrunch, the deal is most likely in the millions of dollars range, although terms have not been disclosed. The original team is staying on and still has a lot of new improvements up their sleeve. I’m crossing my fingers that this influx of cash and support will only make UrbanSpoon even better.
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