American Express has acquired artificial intelligence-powered assistant Mezi, which co-founder and CEO Swapnil Shinde says upends the current “DIY” trend of travel search and booking into a “do-it-for-me” model.
Founded in 2015, Mezi began as a virtual shopping assistant before pivoting to travel. The app allows travelers to submit requests for flights, hotels and restaurant reservations using text or voice messaging.
The app analyzes results from Sabre, Expedia, Priceline, TripAdvisor and others to provide recommendations and instant booking.
The acquisition follows a $9 million Series A funding of Mezi in 2016 co-led by American Express Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Saama Capital. American Express also tested Mezi with a select group of cardholders during 2017.
Currently about 60% of the requests are fully handled by the artificial intelligence, and Snehal says they want to achieve 80%, at least for business travel, in the next three to six months.
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