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CMU Portugal inRes Mentor Sells Startup Nowait for 40 Million Dollar

40 million dollars was the acquisition price of Nowait, the Pittsburgh restaurant waitlist startup created by CMU Portugal inRes mentor Robb Myer. Nowait was bought by Yelp, best known for its restaurant rating app.

In August 2016, the San Francisco-based company Yelp had already invested 8 million dollars in Nowait, allowing diners using Yelp’s app to see restaurant wait times and add their name to the waitlist through the Yelp app.

“We’ve had a successful partnership and we’re excited to align fully with Yelp to drive even faster adoption. Together we’ll have the leading waitlist system in the restaurant industry paired with the largest engaged consumer base,” Nowait CEO Ware Sykes said in a statement published in Business Wire.

About 4 thousand restaurants use Nowait in the United States and Canada and about 24 million mobile devices used the Yelp app during the final quarter of 2016, the company reported.

Nowait was founded seven years ago by Robb Myer, a Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) graduate, and entrepreneur-in-residence of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. In the latter role, and since 2016, Robb has served both as a mentor and a workshop leader for inRes, CMU Portugal’s very early stage acceleration program.

In 2012, Nowait received the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund Award from CMU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, now part of the Swartz Center. This center, through the Project Olympus incubator, is the home base for the inRes teams, during their US immersion, in Pittsburgh.

Three years ago the Pittsburgh Technology Council also named Nowait “Startup of the Year” in Pittsburgh.

Back in October 2015, another inRes mentor and CMU alumnus, Craig Markovitz, sold his startup Blue Belt for 275 million dollars to the London-based medical tech company, Smith & Nephew.

March 2017