OpenTable Planning to Go Public
In the face of constant tidings of general financial apocalypse, not to mention the death of things like venture capital and luxury spending (aka restaurant dining), something seemingly unlikely happened on Friday: A VC-funded, restaurant-oriented technology took the first step towards going public.
OpenTable, the San Francisco-based online restaurant reservationist, filed papers to do an initial public offering Friday, hoping to raise $40 million with the move. According to the New York Times, if it succeeds, the company would be the first since August to successfully go public.
OpenTable's success is not surprising — it provides an extremely convenient service, and costs users nothing. But because it raises money by selling its software to restaurants, and charging those restaurants a small amount per successful reservation, some cost-cutting establishments may decide to forgo the service.
They're confident, though, as is evidenced by Friday's move. Perhaps this could be that single blade of grass poking out of the nuclear-blasted economic landscape. Let's hope.
Meanwhile, we're wondering what kind of effect policies such as that at Coi will have on the future of computerized reservations. Michael Bauer has been giving a fair amount of ink to the problem of broken reservations lately, most recently highlighting Coi's $100 charge for late cancellations or no-shows. Maybe OT could start a side-business in reservation-scalping to pay for some of that stock. Kidding!
An OpenTable on Wall Street? Startup files for IPO [SJ Mercury News]
OpenTable and Medidata Hope to End I.P.O. Drought [NY Times]
OpenTable [Official Site]
Don't show up for dinner? That will be $100 [SF Gate/Between Meals]
Coi [Official Site]
[Photo: Via jenny downing/flickr]