American Express announced that it has acquired Mezi, the startup behind a human-assisted shopping and travel agent chatbot.
Founded out of Sunnyvale, California in 2015, Mezi launched a personal travel assistant that improves the more you use it. It can automatically check you in at the airport or reschedule flights, request vegetarian meals on the plane, and arrange associated travel services, such as car rentals and restaurant reservations.
While some elements of the service are entirely driven by artificial intelligence (AI), other facets combine bots with human agents to ensure users can access additional customization options.
The startup had raised around $12 million in funding, the bulk of which arrived via a $9 million series A round back in 2016 that ushered in American Express as an investor, via its VC arm.
Mezi had previously partnered with American Express for a pilot project called AskAmex, an app aimed at helping cardholders find and book travel-related services from their iPhone. This pilot will continue to run through the first half of 2018, according to American Express.