Restaurant menu

From the presentation of digitized restaurant menu cards to the IPO: the story of Zomato

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The date of July 14, 2021 will remain special in the history of the Indian startup ecosystem. Food delivery platform Zomato has opened for subscription its Initial Public Offering (IPO) of INR 9,375 crore, which is said to be India’s largest since March 2020.


The online food delivery platform is spearheading a wave of listings like Delhivery, Paytm and Nykaa, which are expected to hit markets soon. While some have criticized Zomato’s IPO for being overpriced, most startup enthusiasts have come out on social media with accolades for delivering Unicorn food.

Zomato’s success story, supported by a lightweight scalable model and a first-mover advantage in food delivery and accelerated by Covid-19, is today a case study for many startup founders and investors. From its beginnings as an online discovery platform featuring digitized restaurant menu cards, to achieving coveted Unicorn status and the very first Indian food technology brand to go public, Zomato has come a long way. path.

Here is an overview of Zomato’s career over 12 years old:

2008: Deepinder Goyal co-founded a restaurant discovery platform called Foodiebay with his IIT-Delhi teammate, Pankaj Chaddah. The duo picked up menu cards from different restaurants in Delhi, scanned them and uploaded them to a website. “There were blue HTML links; there was no search, but you could use a browser’s search bar to search for a restaurant. And as soon as you clicked on a restaurant, you got their phone number at the top and a bunch of menus. cards, ”Goyal recalled in a previous interview with Entrepreneur India.

2009: To date, many restaurants have approached them to advertise on the site. The founders made enough income to pay their rents and include restaurants in other cities.

2010: Foodiebay received its first round of funding from Info Edge, a publicly traded holding company with a portfolio of companies such as and, among others. Info Edge gave the startup a funding round of $ 1 million. The company was renamed Zomato to avoid any potential branding issues with another internet company.

2011: The startup got another $ 3 million funding round from Info Edge.

2012: It was a pivotal year for the startup, not only because it received its third $ 2.3 million funding round from Info Edge, but that’s also when it got off. extended to other countries, starting with the United Arab Emirates then Sri Lanka, South Africa, Qatar, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

2013: It made forays into Turkey, Brazil, New Zealand, Portugal, and many other markets and also raised a $ 10 million round from Info Edge, followed by a $ 37 million round. dollars by Info Edge and Sequoia Capital.

2014 : This is the year the food delivery platform began its wave of acquisitions, starting with the acquisition of Menu Mania in New Zealand, followed by Lunchtime in the Czech Republic, Obedovat in Slovakia, Gastronauci in Poland and Cibando in Italy. Later in the year, he received a sixth funding of $ 60 million from Vy Capital alongside Info Edge and Sequoia Capital.

2015 : This year, Zomato made headlines for the acquisition of Urbanspoon, a leading startup in the restaurant discovery space in the United States. In addition, Mekanist, NexTable and Maple POS have also become a part of Zomato. The capital injection also continued with Info Edge leading the seventh round of $ 50 million and Temasek a round of $ 60 million with existing investor Vy Capital. At the same time, the company also started to work on reducing the burn rate, and layoffs were a big part of it.

2016: This is the year the company experienced some setbacks. HSBC released a report that reduced startup Unicorn’s $ 1 billion valuations to $ 50 million. This led Zomato to close its operations in various countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile, Sri Lanka, Canada, Italy, Slovakia and Ireland.

2017: The company suffered another setback due to a cyber attack. The records of 17 million users were breached in the company’s database.

2018: It has been a fairly good year for the company. It acquired Bengaluru-based TongueStun Food for $ 18 million in a cash and equity deal and Lucknow-based startup TechEagle Innovations to drive food delivery by drone in India. It also raised $ 210 million from Alibaba Ant Financial, which received a more than 10% stake in the company as part of the round. This valued Zomato at around $ 2 billion.

2019: This year, Zomato experienced another problem when restaurants listed on the platform called the company through the #logout campaign for slashing their profit margins through its features like Infinity Dining and Zomato Gold, which offered discounts. important to customers. However, despite this obstacle, Zomato recorded a 177% increase in its partner restaurants and integrated 73,000 additional restaurants.

2020: Fueled by the pandemic, Zomato saw a 225% increase in revenue in the very first half of fiscal 2020. It posted revenue of $ 205 million versus $ 63 million (in the first half of fiscal 2020). semester) last year, according to the company’s semi-annual report. The company also raised $ 660 million in the Series J funding round led by Kora, Tiger Global Management, which took Zomato’s valuation to $ 3.9 billion.

2021: The year has been remarkable so far, starting with raising $ 500 million from existing investors with Ant Group and Sunlight Fund, reaching a valuation of $ 5.4 billion in February, raising 250 million dollars from Kora, Fidelity, Tiger Global Management and finally the IPO. It is also in the final phase of acquiring a stake of around 9.3% in the Grofers e-grocer.

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