American Express Acquires Nexus Venture Partners-Backed Travel Assistant App Mezi
The startup raised $9 million in its series A co-led by American Express Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Saama Capital in July 2016 and in December 2015, there was a $2.5 million seed round led by Nexus Venture Partners.
American Express has acquired Mezi, a personal travel assistant app that helps consumers plan and book trips. The Mezi app allows travelers to message their requests for flights, hotel or restaurant reservations, and Mezi provides recommendations and makes travel arrangements at the customer’s request. Founded in 2015, Mezi uses artificial intelligence (AI) and human expertise to personalize the online travel discovery and booking experience. By learning travelers’ preferences and understanding the way customers make requests using natural language, Mezi gets smarter and more efficient over time.
The acquisition of Mezi follows an investment made in 2016 by American Express Ventures, the strategic investment arm of American Express, as well as a successful pilot with American Express card members. For those currently already enrolled in the AskAmex pilot, it will continue to run through the first half of 2018. The startup raised $9 million in its series A co-led by American Express Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Saama Capital in July 2016 and prior to this in December 2015, there was a $2.5 million seed round led by Nexus Venture Partners.
“American Express has always been synonymous with superior service and we couldn’t be more thrilled to join the company,” said Swapnil Shinde, cfounder and CEO of Mezi.
“Mezi’s AI-powered experience opens up exciting new ways for us to connect with and serve our card members and creates opportunities for us to build more meaningful relationships with them,” said Phil Norman, vice president of American Express Digital Labs. “With messaging emerging as a channel of choice for many, and the demand for unique experiences increasing, we believe the combination of Mezi’s capabilities with our global network of expert travel counselors creates a differentiated, high-touch service experience for our card members.”
A proprietary Travel Genome technology runs a series of machine learning algorithms on hundreds of thousands of results from its travel service partners, segments them by the traveler’s preferences and selects three options that are highly personalized to the traveler.
Going forward, Mezi will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Express and will continue to develop its core technologies and enhance its capabilities in digital travel concierge services. “We’ve built Mezi to become better with each and every interaction and based on the success of our pilot with American Express, we are excited to bring Mezi’s mobile capabilities to more card members,” said Snehal Shinde, cofounder and CTO of Mezi. The company’s cofounders will continue to lead Mezi, and will report to Phil Norman, vice president, Amex Digital Labs, Global Consumer Services Group at American Express.
“I’m excited to welcome Mezi’s talented team to American Express. Together, we will continue to innovate mobile travel and concierge experiences for our customers,” added Norman.