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Zomato To Launch Singapore Office in September 2012

Info Edge backed online restaurant and events guide Zomato is expanding its operations to Singapore in September this year, reports The Economic Times.

The report quotes Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal stating that they have just begun the groundwork in Singapore and the company intends to extend its operations to Dubai, Hong Kong and Moscow by the end of this year. We’d reported earlier about the companys plans to launch internationally. According to Goyal, Zomato’s India business had almost broken-even and the company plans to follow the same business model in theses newer markets.

In Singapore, Zomato will compete with existing players like HungryGoWhere.com which was recently acquired by SingTel for $12 million to integrate it with one of the company’s subsidiary inSing.com, SBestFood.com, GoodFood.sg, Makan Time, OpenRice Singapore, Fodor’s and DiningCity.

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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. The company had launched an events section in September 2011 and had introduced an online ticketing platform starting with ticket bookings to its own events in December 2011. The company had claimed to have ticketing inventory for over 500 upcoming events across these cities, with around 175,000 tickets on offer at 30 venues in each. Zomato had 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. Zomato had stated that its own apps use the same API and according to the company’s website, the API is currently being used by MapMyIndia, MakeMyTrip, MyCityWay and MateOnGo.

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In April 2012, Zomato had ventured into the print segment, with the launch of its Restaurant Guide for Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune. The company had exclusively partnered with Hatchette Books for publishing an initial 1,00,000 copies of the guide, which in turn had exclusively partnered with Flipkart, to make the book available for online purchase. Besides this, Zomato had claimed to have listings for over 20,000 restaurants across 10 cities in India including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Chandigarh with more than 1 million monthly users as of December 2011, which seems to have increased to 3.5 million users according to the ET report. It also offers mobile apps across various platforms like iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and the upcoming Windows 8.

Funding: Zomato has raised around Rs 18.2 crore till now. The company had raised Rs 4.7 crores ($1 million) in its first round of funding from InfoEdge (Naukri) in 2010, followed by a second round of funding of Rs 13.5 crores ($3 million) in September 2011. The company had then stated that it intends to use the funds to scale its operations, introduce new products, enhance user experience on its web and mobile offerings, increase its market reach and for hiring and marketing purposes.

Competition: Zomato competes with several local players in this segment including 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.

With inputs from Aman Rai

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