Major global banking player American Express has acquired Mezi, a personal travel assistant app, for an undisclosed amount.
Post acquisition, 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.
The company’s co-founders, Swapnil Shinde and Snehal Shinde will continue to lead Mezi and will report to Norman.
Phil Norman, Vice President of American Express Digital Labs said, “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.”
Founded in 2015, 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.
Mezi uses artificial intelligence (AI) and human expertise to personalise the online travel discovery and booking experience. By learning travelers’ preferences and understanding the way customers make requests using natural language, Mezi gets more efficient over time.
“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.
Earlier in July 2016, Mezi raised $9 Mn from American Express Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, and Saama Capital. Mezi’s seed funding of $2.5 Mn was raised by Nexus Venture Partners.
Other players in the segment include Google’s Assistant, Skedool.it, Helpchat, Dunzo amongst others.Despite other players offering chat-based help services, Mezi remains unique with its personalisation capacity.
Although India has leapfrogged ahead in its digital population count in last few years, a major portion o the potential consumer comprising the older generation is still away from the app based delivery or home services.
With major players like Google experimenting and innovating personal assistant apps, the segment is growing with new and better technologies for customers. However, with the acquisition and larger scale of funds from American Express, we will have to see what comes next from Mezi.