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Zomato Expands to Philippines; Dubai Operations Break Even & Future Expansion Plans

Zomato LogoAfter raising Rs 55 cr investment from Info Edge last month, online restaurants and events guide, Zomato has now expanded to South East Asia by opening up a restaurant section for Metro Manila.

The company said that it will offer restaurants for Quezon, Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, and Taguig regions on its web and mobile apps (iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry). With this launch, Zomato is now present in six countries including India, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, UAE, Qatar and Philippines.

Why Philippines: Talking to Medianama, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal said that the choice for their next market launch was between Philippines and Bangkok. However, they found Philippines to be a bigger market and since Zomato is currently available only in English, they decided to go with Philippines.

However, Goyal said that they are planning to launch a Thai version of the site shortly, following which they plan to launch the site in Bangkok. He also added that they are planning to launch a Portuguese and Spanish version of the site in the future.

When asked about competition in Philippines, Goyal mentioned that few websites have just started up in that region and they are currently in talks with these players to see if they can work together, but he does not believe them to be much of a competition to Zomato.

Contribution of Foreign Operations to Revenue: As of now, Zomato is present in 13 cities in India and five countries besides India. Goyal said that it is still early days to say anything about Zomato’s performance in all countries except Dubai but they are expecting about 5-6% of its total revenue to come from its foreign operations this year. Goyal claimed that they have broken even as a separate operations in Dubai. Last month, Zomato had said that its Indian operations had reached EBITDA break even in December 2012.

Further Expansion: Goyal said that they are currently focused on International expansion right now and hope to expand its operations to South Africa and other African countries in the future. Also, depending upon the response they receive in London, they plan to extend their operations to Canada, United States and Australia. Goyal however mentioned that each of these foreign operations will take a minimum two to three years to generate decent revenue to the company.

On the India front, they plan to add Guwahati and Cochin in the next three to four months.

Zomato’s Expansion Spree: Zomato began its global expansions by launching in Dubai in September 2012. In the following month, Zomato launched in Qatar and in November 2012, Zomato expanded to launch in Sri Lanka. In January 2013, Zomato also entered the European market by launching in London. Zomato was also planning to launch its service in Singapore last year, but it decided to pull out few months later, since restaurants were not willing to share menus, and it was taking a lot of time for them to collect data as compared to other markets.

Zomato had raised Rs 55 cr investment from Info Edge last month and including this investment, Info Edge has invested a total Rs 86 crore in the company. Following this investment, Info Edge also owned a majority stake in the company, increasing its stake to 57.9% stake from 48.5% stake in September 2012.

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