O’Melveny Represents Mezi in Sale to American Express
January 30, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SILICON VALLEY—January 30, 2017—O’Melveny represented Mezi in its acquisition by American Express. The firm has advised Mezi, a popular travel assistant app, from its founding, beginning with its initial incorporation through its venture financing to its sale.
O’Melveny’s team was led by partner David Makarechian and counsel Chris Hagenbuch, along with associates Bhavreet Gill and Virginia Harris. Counsel Brian Danella and associates Tom Oslovar and Courtney Hood handled IP matters, senior counsel Warren Fox and associate Rebecca Cottrell advised on executive compensation, partner Bob Fisher and counsel Billy Abbott advised on tax, special counsel Scott Pink advised on privacy law, and partner Eric Amdursky advised on labor and employment law.
O’Melveny’s clients define markets, set precedents, and break boundaries. They are stalwarts and innovators, the names you trust and the next big thing. And for more than a century, O’Melveny has been right beside them, kicking down walls and putting up defenses to help our clients achieve their most important goals. With approximately 700 lawyers in 15 offices worldwide guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship, we uphold a tradition of treating our clients’ challenges and opportunities as our own. What do you want to achieve? For the answers, please visit www.omm.com.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
The following release was issued by Mezi:
American Express Acquires Mezi
Company Plans to Enhance the Mobile Servicing Experience for Travel
New York, January 30, 2018 – American Express (NYSE: AXP) today announced it has acquired Mezi www.mezi.com, a personal travel assistant app that helps consumers plan and book trips. The Mezi app allows travelers to simply 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.
“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 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.”
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.
“American Express has always been synonymous with superior service and we couldn’t be more thrilled to join the company,” said Swapnil Shinde, Co-Founder and CEO, Mezi.
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, Co-Founder and CTO, Mezi. The company’s co-founders 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 Mr. Norman.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com, and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress,and youtube.com/americanexpress.
Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, Plenti rewards program, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, corporate card, business travel, and corporate responsibility.
Information Related to Forward-Looking Statements
This release includes forward-looking statements that reflect management’s expectations about future events, including expectations regarding the company’s operating plans and performance. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. The words “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “would,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. American Express undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the underlying assumptions related to the transaction proving to be inaccurate or unrealized. A further description of these and other risks and uncertainties can be found in American Express’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and its other reports filed with the SEC.
For travelers looking for the best way to get where they need to go, Mezi puts a personal travel assistant in your pocket that brings superior service and unparalleled delight to the travel industry.
Mezi is building the most advanced AI for travel which powers the most comprehensive, simple to use booking platform available so all travel feel like a first class experience.
Founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Swapnil Shinde and Snehal Shinde, Mezi was acquired by American Express in January 2018 and now operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Express. Learn more at Mezi.com.
The Mezi for Business solution includes:
- AI-powered chatbots capable of automating more than 60 percent of the conversations initiated by travelers using Mezi for Business. With customized chatbots specifically designed for each travel vertical including flights, hotels, and restaurant reservations, Mezi’s AI owns the process of gathering availability, curating recommendations, and booking reservations with limited human intervention.
- Travel Dashboard puts the power of AI-assistance in the hands of travel agents, allowing for faster response times to client requests through automation. The intuitively designed conversational interface of the Travel Dashboard simplifies the skills necessary to become a travel agent, dramatically decreasing agent training times from months to a matter of days.
- Dynamic Traveler Profiles keep living profiles on each traveler which are automatically updated based on actual user behavior, allowing agents to offer a more personalized service with every conversation.
- 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.
- Personal Travel Assistant App accessible 24/7 on iOS and Android gives business travelers a more convenient, immediate experience, with the mobility and text-message style interface that consumers have come to expect in their digital services and products.
- Partnerships with Major Travel Services including Sabre, Expedia, Priceline, TripAdvisor and others provide instant access to thousands of flight and hotel options.
- Series A: $9M co-led by American Express Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Saama Capital (July 2016)
- Seed: $2.5M led by Nexus Venture Partners (December 2015)
1. 2017 Phocuswright’s Best AI Innovation Award
2. BTN’s Most Influential People in Business Travel 2017 (Swapnil Shinde, Mezi CEO)
3. 2017 Disrupt 100 winner - Top Global Innovator category
4. 2017 Appy Award Winner in the in the Travel/Tourism category
5. Skift’s Most Interesting Corporate Travel Startup of 2017
6. 2017 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards Silver Medal Winner
7. SaaS Awards Best Data-Driven SaaS Product - Finalist