Somm acquires last-minute restaurant reservation app Dinr to move beyond wine recommendation

Somm describes Dinr deal as “part of a bigger vision” for the wine-focused startup.

Toronto-based mobile wine recommendation app Somm has acquired Montréal’s Dinr, as it looks to add restaurant reservations to its offering.

“Integrating reservations at Dinr’s suite of high-end restaurants is a natural evolution for Somm.”
-Jennifer Tremblay, Somm

Developed in 2014 by restaurateur Kyle Nares and tech exec Bryan Mahoney, Dinr is a free mobile restaurant reservation app that matches last-minute diners with popular restaurants on a same-day basis.

For Somm, the acquisition of Dinr helps the startup to expand beyond wine recommendation—where the company got its start—and into providing access to restaurant reservations. Somm characterized the deal as “part of a bigger vision.”

“Somm is on a mission to own the category of taste and offering reservations to incredible restaurants was a natural step as we expand our lifestyle footprint,” Somm founder and CEO Jennifer Tremblay told BetaKit. “Integrating reservations at Dinr’s suite of high-end restaurants is a natural evolution for the company and directly complements our existing technology and consumer offering. It also opens up new B2B channels for us.”

Tremblay declined to disclose the acquisition price, but said the Dinr deal consisted of a mix of cash and equity in Somm. Somm financed the deal using “new investment from two key existing investors,” as part of their commitment to Somm’s next equity financing, which Somm is looking to raise in the near future.

Founded in 2020, Somm aims “to put a sommelier in everyone’s pocket” through its machine learning-powered mobile wine recommendation app, which is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Last year, Somm raised $2 million CAD in seed financing co-led by KJSM Ventures and Highlander Wine & Spirits to scale and expand its wine recommendation engine and machine learning tech.

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The Dinr deal follows Somm’s recent launch of its Somm Cru and Grand Cru membership programs. For $4.99 monthly, Somm Cru gives Somm users access to preferred pricing, exclusive products and events, and other perks from restaurant, hotel, winery, and lifestyle brand partners. Grand Cru, which starts at $130 per month, offers the same benefits as Somm Cru plus three curated wines.

“Whether it’s booking a last minute reservation through Dinr by Somm, enjoying a complimentary glass of bubbly at a restaurant or a signature experience through Somm Cru, or getting a great wine recommendation to impress your guests, our mission is to become the de-facto platform for every culinary curious and lifestyle focused consumer,” said Tremblay.

Alongside Canadian celebrity chef Chuck Hughes, Dinr co-founder Kyle Nares is the co-owner of Montréal seafood restaurants Garde Manger and Le Bremner, the latter of which officially shut down last summer. Dinr’s other co-founder, Bryan Mahoney, is co-founder and CEO of New York-based e-commerce startup Chord Commerce (formerly Arfa). Prior to launching Chord, Mahoney co-founded Montréal digital design studio Dynamo and served as CTO of beauty company Glossier.

Mahoney described Dinr’s “engaged user base” as “perfectly aligned with Somm’s audience of culinary-curious digital natives.”

Dinr helps restaurants fill empty seats that arise from last-minute or same-day cancellations and enables guests to access tables at sought-after eating spots on short notice in Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. The app allows users to search Dinr’s curated list of restaurants and notifies them when tables open up.

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“The acquisition is a true meeting of the minds and the lift in restrictions, coupled with the recovering state of the restaurant industry makes this acquisition and relaunch perfectly timed,” Nares told BetaKit.

According to Somm, Nares, Mahoney, and Dinr’s Marketing and Sales Director Natalie Goldenberg-Fife have been working with Somm to re-launch the Dinr app. Goldenberg-Fife has joined Somm in a key sales and partnerships role, while Nares and Mahoney will serve the startup as advisors.

Somm plans to launch Dinr by Somm in Spring 2022, and is currently accepting diner and restaurant members to its waitlist.

Following its launch, Dinr will be accessible both through the original Dinr app, as well as through Somm’s app. According to Somm, users can expect “a refreshed design” and “a few new features that bring the apps together seamlessly.”

One of Somm’s stated goals following its 2021 seed round was to expand its reach through partnerships in Canada and the United States (US). Tremblay said Somm will be available in the US “sometime this year.”

Feature image by Klara Kulikova via Unsplash.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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