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Zomato acquires Menumania; First of many global acquisitions to come

Zomato Menumania

In a bid to strengthen its global footprint, Zomato has acquired the New Zealand-based online restaurant guide MenuMania for an undisclosed amount. A The Economic Times report pegs the deal to be an all-cash deal worth Rs 5 crore, although the company declined to confirm this to Medianama.

Menumania was Zomato’s largest rival in the New Zealand region and claims to be the leading restaurant guide in the country. It was founded in 2006 by Cristian Rosescu who was later joined by his wife Karen Gibson.

Post acquisition, Menumania’s restaurant menus & reviews will be migrated to Zomato’s New Zealand website and it appears the founding team is sticking around until the integration is complete.

Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said that they will be rolling out an integrated product over the next few weeks, which he claims will be the largest resource of restaurant information in New Zealand. Zomato started its operation in the island country (specifically in Auckland and Wellington) last July.

This could however be tricky and could lead to confusion and dissatisfaction among existing MenuMania users. For instance, MenuMania offers a particular user experience that New Zealanders have gotten used over the past 8 years. A sudden shift to Zomato might actually lead to loss of users. Integrating or rather retaining the best bits of the MenuMania experience will possibly be the biggest challenge for Zomato post-acquisition.

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More acquisitions to follow

This is Zomato’s first international acquisition, however Goyal told Quartz India that they are in advanced talks with two other companies – one in Europe and Southeast Asia. He also mentioned that they will be taking the acquisition route in few other markets. They are considering potential acquisitions in five of the 22 new markets they intend to expand over the next two years. Zomato is also apparently considering team acquisitions or acqui-hires in markets where there is no dominant players.

Goyal told ET that they had been actively on the lookout for global acquisitions since it raised $37 million Sequoia Capital and Info Edge in November last year, with Europe and Southeast Asia being the core focus regions for the company. They intend to acquire in countries where local players are already dominating the market.

Canada launch: Goyal told Quartz that Zomato is launching in Canada next. This will be the first time where it will come face-to-face with its biggest competitor Yelp in a market where the latter is already dominant. Is the restaurant search and discovery service space big enough for both? We will find out soon.

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