By Gaurav Pradhan
Zomato, a Gurgaon based company owning the restaurants search app and portal, is ready to set foot in United States with its acquisition of Urbanspoon, a Seattle based bar & restaurant search guide. This was the most ambitious move for Zomato being an all cash deal.
This is one of the six acquisition in terms of expanding in different geographies in last six months. Some major acquisition as like MenuMania (New Zealand) in July 2014, Lunchtime.cz (Czech Republic) & Obedovat.sk (Slovakia) in August 2014 for a joint value of US $ 3.25 million, Gastronauci (Poland), Cibando (Italy). These acquisitions have given Zomato a doorway to Central and Eastern Europe markets.
Barring U.S. market, Zomato operates in UK, South Africa, Philippines, New Zealand, UAE, Qatar, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, Turkey, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and 35 Indian cities. Information database consists of 260,000 restaurants in 16 countries.
Why Zomato going U.S. ?
Zomato, with the help of Urbanspoon, has become the largest restaurant search company in the world. This has helped Zomato to expand its presence in more than 550 cities in 22 countries and restaurant coverage from 300,000 to one million.
But the biggest advantage Urbanspoon has given them is a headstart in U.S. market. Yelp, their rival may face a tough competition from this big giant. There has been news of additional US$ 50 million investment and overtaking Yelp within a year timeframe. Yelp uses crowdsourcing for enrolling restaurants, menu, contact details and pictures. U.S. market can be a big challenge, but due to Urbanspoon integration, they are expecting more surge in traffic – expecting it to grow from 35 million visit per month to more than 80 million visits per month.
The Way Forward
Zomato’s acquisition solve two purposes. First, acquiring companies and their accumulated database will help get more traffic. Second, it is a world-wide buzz branding exercise. Zomato is trying to become the ‘only go to point for finding a restaurant anywhere in this world’. The most important segment they are reaching out is to the travelers and tourists who visit different countries and always find difficult to find good restaurants. Providing them a worldwide database at their fingertips can be the greatest delight than having flipping burgers in a KFC or McDonalds or having a pizza at a pizza corner.
This is a very important sentiment that Zomato should look into and try to convert it into a monetizing opportunity.
(Author is a Management student of IIM Bangalore having an experience in Manufacturing Industry, Follow On Twitter @GauravToYou)
Zomato acquires Poland’s Gastronauci, fourth acquisition in three months – The Economic Times – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/emerging-businesses/startups/zomato-acquires-polands-gastronauci-fourth-acquisition-in-three-months/articleshow/43221146.cms
It might seem crazy but… – Zomato – http://blog.zomato.com/post/107901732326/it-might-seem-crazy-but
Urbanspoon Acquisition Wasn’t Planned, Says Zomato Co-Founder – NDTV Gadgets – http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/features/urbanspoon-acquisition-wasnt-planned-says-zomato-co-founder-648629