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Public Listing or Groundwork for an Acquisition: What’s on the Platter for Zomato?

Jan 13, 2015 | Food and Beverage | Future Market Insights

Restaurant search portal Zomato has made market watchers sit up and take notice yet again with its latest (sixth) acquisition in about as many months. Zomato’s pearl string of acquisitions gets longer with the company announcing that it has acquired US-based food portal Urbanspoon in a deal worth US$52 Mn.

In 2010, Zomato was named among the top 25 most promising internet companies in India. Since then, the portal certainly has shown phenomenal progress! In the last six months alone, Zomato has fervently been expanding its global footprint via new launches and acquisitions.

Let’s take a look at Zomato’s overseas expansion timeline – 

  • September 2014 – Zomato expanded to its first overseas location by launching its services in the UAE, followed rapidly by expansion into other countries (Qatar, the Philippines, South Africa, etc.)
  • July 2014 – Zomato announced its first acquisition - New Zealand’s MenuMania for an undisclosed sum
  • August 2014 – Two acquisitions in Europe—Czech Republic’s Lunchtime and Slovakia’s Obedovat—for a combined sum of US$3.25 Mn.
  • September 2014 – Zomato acquired Poland’s Gastronauci for an undisclosed sum
  • December 2014 – Cibando, an Italian restaurant search service, was acquired by Zomato
  • January 2015 – Seattle-based Urbanspoon food portal acquired by Zomato, giving the company a new found presence in markets in the U.S., Canada, and Australia

Zomato’s Chain of Acquisitions and the Role of Info Edge and Vy Capital

Gurgaon-based Zomato has been actively expanding its reach internationally both organically and via M&As. “Zomato is clearly aiming for something substantial here with its aggressive, fast-paced acquisitions. The company is using its earlier funding to penetrate several new markets,” said an analyst at Future Market Insights (FMI). Zomato has used this funding to penetrate new key western markets of Europe and now it is moving forward with its aggressive pace to the U.S. market.

It has raised US$60 Mn from Vy Capital and its existing investors Sequoia Capital and Info Edge (India) to fund its global expansion and new product development. This takes Zomato’s total funding to over US$113 Mn, after it raised US$53 million from Info Edge (India) Ltd. and Sequoia Capital during multiple funding rounds.

The latest round of funding worth US$60 million raised by Zomato, includes purchase of shares from certain existing shareholders. However, the details of the sellers and the sum involved are undisclosed.

This is Zomato’s Series E investment at a pre-money valuation of US$600 Mn, which translates into US$660 Mn post-money valuation. According to Info Edge, they would be picking equity shares and convertible preference shares of Zomato and retain 50.1% holding in the organization with the latest funding.

With all existing and past acquisitions of Zomato, the company’s valuation is estimated to be worth US$1 Bn. This shows that Zomato’s valuation has quadrupled in the last year.

What’s cooking in Zomato’s kitchen?

There is little doubt that the next few months could see a major announcement from Zomato. Elaborating on this observation, Essien Jae, lead consultant at FMI said, “The recent developments point toward two possibilities – the bull is getting ready either for a sale or a public listing.”
 
According to the founding partner of Vy Capital, Alexander Tamas, Zomato is one of the first Internet companies from India that boasts a consumer product which is scaling up globally thanks to a team that is implementing it extremely well.

Recently, Flipkart listed itself in the Singapore Stock exchange, so will we see a similar pattern with Zomato getting listed on New York Stock exchange? Watch this space for more.