American Express acquires chatbot firm Mezi1 min read . Updated: 30 Jan 2018, 11:22 PM IST
Mezi, which enables travel-related bookings over text messages, will become a subsidiary of American Express after the transaction is completed
New Delhi: American Express Co., the New York-based credit card issuer, has acquired chatbot firm Mezi, which enables travel-related bookings over text messages, for an undisclosed amount.
Mezi will become a subsidiary of American Express after the transaction is completed.
“Mezi’s AI-powered (artificial intelligence) 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," Phil Norman, vice-president at American Express Digital Labs, said late on Tuesday.
“With messaging emerging as the 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," Norman added.
Mezi was started by entrepreneurs Swapnil Shinde and Snehal Shinde, who had earlier founded music streaming app Dhingana and sold it off to Rdio in March 2014.
Nexus Ventures Partners is an early investor in Mezi. It put $2.5 million in December 2015 and a part of the company’s $9-million fund-raise in July 2016, which also saw participation from Saama Capital and American Express Ventures, the strategic investment arm of American Express.
After its investment, American Express tested out Mezi’s chat platform for servicing its card customers through an app called AskAmex, which managed customer loyalty programmes and bookings for hotels and restaurants.
By November that year, Mezi has pivoted to focus exclusively on travel.
While it will continue to power American Express’ AskAmex, Mezi will focus on developing its core technologies and enhance its capabilities in digital travel concierge services, the two companies said. Mezi founders will report to Norman.
“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, chief technology officer at Mezi.
Mezi app allows travellers to message their requests for flights, hotel and restaurant reservations, and also provides recommendations based on user preferences and past interactions on the platform.