Zomato, the Info Edge backed online restaurant and events guide, has announced that it has launched in Dubai. Apart from that, Zomato has also added 10-12 two new cities within India: Lucknow and Indore, expanding its India operations to 12 cities.

For the Dubai launch, Zomato has added a new section to its website with more than 3,500 restaurant listings including cafeterias, restaurant, 7 star hotel, among others. Its Dubai operations currently have a 12-person content team and the company plans to hire 10 more people in sales over the next quarter. The company also claims that it will add more cities in the Middle East and South East Asia by the end of 2012. Previously, we had reported that Zomato had plans to expand its operations to Singapore in September 2012. Deepinder Goyal, CEO at Zomato, said that the company aims to expand to other International cities, by the end of the year.

Info Edge’s investment

InfoEdge has invested Rs 182 million/ Rs 18.2 crore in zomato.com, and has a 33.04% equity stake in the company. Info Edge has 58,480 equity shares of Zomato, as on 31st March 2012, and invested Rs 47 million/ Rs 4.7 crore in them. It has 44,584 preference shares of Zomato, which it acquired in FY12, totaling Rs 135 million/Rs 13.5 crore.

Competition

In Dubai, Zomato will compete against Time Out DubaiChowdubaiMenupagesATN info, among others. Locally, Zomato competes with Infomedia18 owned Burrp.comJustEat and Bookurtable. The company also competes with BuzzInTown and Burrp in the events section and Network18′s BookMyShow.com in the online ticketing segment.

Previous Developments

Started in July 2008 as FoodieBay.com which offered restaurant directory listings, the company had rebranded as Zomato in November 2010 to extend beyond food segment, positioning it as a premium lifestyle brand. It later  launched an events section in September 2011 and introduced an online ticketing platform starting with ticket bookings to its own events in December 2011. It also released a free public API in September 2011, allowing third party developers to offer updated information such as restaurant listings, location coordinates, reviews, discounts, photos, menus across 20,000 listings from its website, within their apps through the API.

In April 2012, Zomato launched a Restaurant Guide for Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune. The company had partnered Hatchette Books for publishing 1,00,000 copies of the guide, initially. Hatchette inturn had exclusively partnered with Flipkart, to make the book available online.

Anupam Saxena also contributed to this post