09/09/11 | Uncategorized

Marissa Buys Nina: Google Buys Zagat

By Simone Brummelhuis (Founder, TheNextWomen)
ZAGAT, the pioneer restaurant review site has been bought by Google.

It was announced by Marissa Mayer, VP Local on Google’s blog as follows:

With no other context, I instantly recognized and trusted Zagat’s review and recommendation. So, today, I’m thrilled that Google has acquired Zagat. Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering -— delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.

With Zagat, we gain a world-class team that has more experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry. Founded by Tim and Nina Zagat more than 32 years ago, Zagat has established a trusted and well-loved brand the world over, operating in 13 categories and more than 100 cities. The Zagats have demonstrated their ability to innovate and to do so with tremendous insight. Their surveys may be one of the earliest forms of UGC (user-generated content)—gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the Internet as we know it today even existed. Their iconic pocket-sized guides with paragraphs summarizing and “snippeting” sentiment were “mobile” before “mobile” involved electronics. Today, Zagat provides people with a democratized, authentic and comprehensive view of where to eat, drink, stay, shop and play worldwide based on millions of reviews and ratings.

For all of these reasons, I’m incredibly excited to collaborate with Zagat to bring the power of Google search and Google Maps to their products and users, and to bring their innovation, trusted reputation and wealth of experience to our users.

ZAGAT is happy, this review they wrote about the acquisition.

Zagat was founded in 1979, put itself up for sale for $200 million in 2008 but then took itself off the market, because no one wanted to pay that price. Meanwhile, Google tried to buy Yelp in 2009 for $500 million but Yelp did not want to sell.

TopTable, of founder Karen Hanton in the meantime was bought by OpenTable for $55M.

Google, how did you value Zagat?

This post was originally published at TheNextWomen.

About the guest blogger: Simone Brummelhuis is Founder, CEO and Editor-in Chief of TheNextWomen, the First Women’s Internet Business Magazine and Community with a focus on startups and growing businesses, led, founded or invested in by women be it in the media, service, retail, communication or any other industry, with a tech or internet angle, from Silicon Valley to Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. A partner of Women 2.0, TheNextWomen is behind concepts such as Kitchen Dinners.



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