Zomato has shutdown Urbanspoon, about five months after acquiring it, and has started migrating Urbanspoon users to its own platform. The company has said that this decision was taken due to the expense of maintaining two platforms at a time.
So long, Urbanspoon! pic.twitter.com/rWCX8Iaxpc
— Zomato (@Zomato) June 1, 2015
Following this redirection, Urbanspoon users will have to get accustomed to a few changes. For instance, the rating system on Urbanspoon follows that ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ model, while Zomato follows that five point scale model. Also, Urbanspoon’s iconic shake-to-search feature isn’t updated yet.
— Londonpiggy (@londonpiggy) June 1, 2015
@Zomato so all my urbanspoon likes are gone forever. No way to find that out anymore? Really wish I knew before so I could move to new site
— Gufé (@Pupalups) June 1, 2015
— AM van den Hurk (@amvandenhurk) June 1, 2015
In January this year, Zomato had acquired IAC’s Urbanspoon in an all-cash transaction for $52 million to enter the crucial US market. At the time, it had been mentioned that most of Urbanspoon’s team will be joining Zomato and the company will be integrating its website and mobile apps to Zomato over the next few months. Zomato had earlier forayed into North America by launching in Canada in October last year.
While Zomato’s US foray has been on the cards for quite some time, it looks like the company has sped up its plans. Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddah had earlier told TechCrunch that they were looking to enter the US markets in the second half of 2015. Interestingly, following the Urbanspoon acquisition, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal had written in a blog post that “by the time we merge the Urbanspoon website and apps into Zomato by March this year, two-thirds of our overall traffic will be coming from just these three countries (United States, Canada, and Australia).”
Zomato’s acquisition spree
Over the past year or so, Zomato has also been actively acquiring companies to enter new markets worldwide. These include:
– US-based restaurant reservations and table-management platform NexTable in April.
– Turkish restaurant search service Mekanist in January.
– Italian restaurant discovery service Cibando in December.
– Polish restaurant search service Gastronauci in September last year.
– Czech Republic’s restaurant guide Lunchtime.cz and Slovakia’s restaurant guide Obedovat.sk for a combined amount of $3.25 million in August.
– New Zealand-based restaurant search service MenuMania in July
It has also been quite aggressive with its International rollout, launching its operations in a new market almost every month with the recent ones being Ireland’s Dublin and Lebanon’s Beirut in November and Canada in October. Goyal had then said that they had earmarked $10 million for Canada expansion.