OpenTable acquires Foodspotting for $10m

Turns out people’s obsession with photographing their food is worth millions of dollars.

Foodspotting, a three-year old mobile app that allows people to post photos and reviews of dishes, has been acquired by OpenTable, the online reservation system, for $10m in cash.

Foodspotting’s catalogue of 3m photos is small compared to the number of food images on Instagram, the Facebook-owned mobile photo-sharing site with more than 100m users. Instagram could prove a formidable force for the new partnership to battle if Facebook ever decides to build an advertising tool linking food photos with restaurants.

Foodspotting will remain a stand alone app for featuring images of foodie finds like kimchee burritos and okonomiyaki (a Japanese pancake), but it will also integrate with OpenTable. Users can already make restaurant reservations through OpenTable from the Foodspotting platform, and some diners see photos from Foodspotting pop up when they go to OpenTable to make a reservation.

“But we both realized we could create smarter experiences if we could integrate more deeply by, for example, recommending dishes when you make reservations to enabling restaurants to showcase their best dishes,” said Alexa Andrzejewski, founder and chief executive of Foodspotting.

Foodspotting’s team of 10 will join the OpenTable staff, with Ms Andrzejewski taking on the role of lead user interface designer.

OpenTable seats approximately 10 million diners per month via online bookings at more than 26,000 restaurants. Analysts expect OpenTable to report $161m in revenues for 2012 when it reports earnings next week.