Info Edge, which has majority share holding in restaurant listings and food delivery startup Zomato, may consider bringing its stake below 50% in the company in the next major round of funding. Answering a query from analysts, InfoEdge founder and vice chairman Sanjeev Bikhchandani said that the company is unlikely to invest in Zomato alone but may consider participation with other investors in its next round of funding.
During the quarter, Info Edge invested Rs 152 crore in Zomato to maintain its stake at 50.1%.
“Given the size of our balance sheet and given our priorities in investing in 99acres, it would be difficult for us to give these companies all the money they need,” Bikhchandani said. “We will support our companies, but it is unlikely that we will be doing it alone. And therefore, in Zomato, I have said this earlier in an analyst call that, in all likelihood, if there is a next round of a significant size, we will probably go below 50%,” he added.
Note that in November 2014 Bikchandani had stated that Info Edge would be reluctant to reduce stake in Zomato below 50% as Naukri, 99Acres and Zomato were the three businesses that were “moving the needle” for them.
Zomato had reported an EBIDTA loss of Rs 136 crore for the 12 month period ended 31st March 2015 (FY15), compared to the Rs 41.39 crore loss reported in FY14. It had generated total operating revenue of Rs 96.7 crore in FY15, more than three times the Rs 30.6 crore operating revenue generated in FY14.
For the quarter ended June 30, 2015, Info Edge had posted net profit of Rs 28.7 crore registering a 28% decline from Rs 39.8 crore profit in the same quarter last year. This was attributed mainly to advertising spends in its property portal 99acres. Advertising expenditure has typically been around 20% of total expenditure for the company. For the June quarter, spends increased for the first time in 3 years, to 30% of expenditure. Info Edge said that around 9.843 crore was spent during the quarter as working capital for 99Acres.
Bikhchandani also added that India continues to be Zomato’s primary market in terms of revenue followed by the UAE. In terms of traffic, he said that Zomato is the leader in South Africa, in New Zealand, in Australia, in Canada, in Philippines, Indonesia and several other markets.
Other developments in Zomato
– Last month, Zomato introduced online payments for ordering food in select restaurants in India. The latest version of the iOS and Android applications allows users to pay for orders through debit cards, credit cards and net banking. Zomato partnered with PayPal to enable online payments. It also launched a separate app for ordering food called Zomato Order in May.
– In June, Zomato shutdown Urbanspoon, about five months after acquiring it, and started migrating Urbanspoon users to its own platform. The company said that this decision was taken due to the expense of maintaining two platforms at a time.