Zomato: Online restaurant search service
Hello, everyone! In the series of startup stories, today Themedots presents to you story of Zomato, which is an online restaurant search and discovery service providing information on home delivery, dining-out, cafes and nightlife in cities of India and 21 other countries.
Zomato is a privately held company which was founded by Deepinder Goyal in July 2008. It is headquartered in New Delhi, India. It is providing its services in more than 20 countries like India, Australia, United States of America, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, and Poland etc. More than 1200 employees are working for Zomato today.
Website- www.zomato.com (Formerly foodiebay.com until November 2010)
CEO- Deepinder Goyal
COO- Pankaj Chaddah
CTO- Gunjan Patidar
It has a huge user base all around the globe. At present Zomato has 62.5 million users who are using services provided by Zomato and very satisfied by its services. Zomato is providing its services in a different type of languages like English, Turkish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, Polish, and Italian etc. The site has an Alexa rank of 1,210 in the world and 146 in India as of June 2015.
History of Zomato
Deepinder Goyal, Founder, and CEO worked as a management consultant with Bain and Company before starting Zomato. It was at Bain that Deepinder conceived the idea of an online restaurant information service after seeing the demand for menu cards among his colleagues. After graduating, while he was working at Bain and Company, he noticed people queuing up in the pantry every day trying to look for menus to order food and that’s when the idea struck him- what if they could access these menus online. The users can use this website that will provide in-depth information about restaurants and events (e.g. menu cards, contact details, pictures, directions, rating and reviews) to its users helping them make a well-informed decision before stepping outside their house. One can also get an opinion about the restaurants through the reviews written by people who have already visited the place.
Deepinder left Bain and Company in 2008 to start Zomato (then foodiebay) out of his apartment and has since overseen strategy and product development. Deepinder graduated with a Mathematics and Computing degree from IIT Delhi in 2005 and hails from Muktsar in Punjab.
Zomato founded in 2008, is India’s largest restaurant guide listing over 42,000 restaurants across 12 cities in the country- Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Indore. Zomato was started by IIT Delhi alumni in July 2008 for Delhi NCR and has expanded its services over a span of 4 years to 12 cities in India.
In 2010, the website was named among the top 25 most promising internet companies in India by SmartTechie Magazine. By June 2010, the website broke even and had expanded its reach to Bangalore and Pune. Among Foodiebay’s growing throng of users was Sanjeev Bikhchandani, the founder of Naukri.com. He liked the service. His company, Info Edge India Ltd. put in $1 million in seed funding early on, in August 2010. The company funded Zomato through four subsequent rounds, cumulatively investing $25.4 million. It now owns a 50.1% stake in Zomato.
In November 2010, Foodiebay.com was renamed Zomato.com. The brand name was changed due to a possible move outside of the food vertical and also to avoid a possible conflict with eBay because the earlier brand name Foodiebay.com contained ‘ebay’ in it. By 2011, Zomato launched coverage in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. Also in 2011, Zomato launched applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices. Zomato also launched a print version of the content on the website in collaboration with Citibank in May 2012.
Zomato has expanded into the international markets with the launch of their Dubai section and will expand to more cities in the Middle East and South East Asia by the end of 2015. This was followed by quick expansion into Sri Lanka, Qatar, United Kingdom, Philippines, and South Africa. The company launched in Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand in July 2013, and Hamilton in December 2013. It launched in Turkey, Brazil and Indonesia in November 2013, with its website and apps available in Turkish, Brazilian, Portuguese, Indonesian and English.
Zomato’s new logo- the heart
In October 2014, Zomato announced its new logo- the heart. It was a tough call because the company could not risk losing any of its 30 million users across 18 countries with this step. But it was a much-needed change, for good.
Deepinder feels that Zomato was built for the love of food, and as a global brand, they wanted to be able to say it without having to put it into words. The company wanted a symbol that could transcend languages, cultures, and geographical boundaries and be instantly recognizable to anyone who sees it- whether it’s their users, clients or even themselves. He adds “It represents who we are and what we do. This logo symbolically, and literally, stands for the love of good food. ”
According to Deepinder, “We’re always in touch with our consumers across the globe, so the learning and feedback process is an ongoing one. We know that the one thing that brings everyone associated with Zomato together is a shared passion for food. Now that we’re a global brand present in 18 countries and serving foodies 30 million times a month, we felt we needed a symbol that embodied and celebrated this shared passion for food, and resonated with the millions of foodies on Zomato across the globe.” They will come to love it over time.
So far, the response on the new logo has been positive. Zomato has even received emails and messages from foodies all over the world telling them how much they love the new logo.