Network 18’s board has approved the sale of restaurant search and recommendation service Burrp. “The board has given in-principle approval to sell/transfer/ otherwise dispose off or transfer Burrp to any other entity including a related party/ or strategic investor,” the company said in a notification to the stock exchanges.
“The board of directors of the company at its meeting held today inter alia evaluated the proposal of restructuring its business of food and restaurant search and recommendation engine operated under the name of Burrp, which has insignificant contribution to the revenue of the company,” Network 18’s notification further read.
Burrp was launched in August, 2006, by Deap Ubhi and Anand Jain. At the time, they tried to build an Indian equivalent of Yelp. But following the company’s sale to Infomedia 18 for Rs 4.25 crore in 2009, Ubhi and Jain left the company to pursue their own ventures. The company went through several top-level changes from 2010 to 2014. However, Network 18 was bought by Reliance Industries in 2014. In October 2015, the company was relaunched with new management and backing from Reliance Industries.
The report added that the company had a team of 200 people and that 150 took care of content management. It had content operations in 14 cities with sales and marketing teams are present in six of these cities. Currenty, Burrp is headed by Pradeep Prabhu and Abhishek Chhajlani. It also has mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. In August 2016, Burrp had also tied up with Times Internet’s Dineout to allow users to reserve a table on its website and app.
“We at Network 18 are excited about the innovative work that Burrp is doing and expect that they will achieve leadership in the food space even as others are undergoing turmoil,” Adil Zainulbhai, chairman of Network 18 had said to YourStory last year.
Clearly that hasn’t happened. The problem for Burrp was that it got straddled with the bureaucracy that was/is Network18, and became a cog in the wheel. In comparison, Zomato launched in the same space, led by an entrepreneurial team, built a fairly substantial business, backed by a significant amount of funding. Zomato built that pipe connecting restaurants to their customers, to create dependency, and is building multiple revenue streams here: table bookings, payments, food delivery etc.
Also, remember the time when Zomato accused Burrp of copying their listings?
An interesting aside: Burrp co-founder Deap Ubhi now runs TableHero.
— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) April 20, 2017