For those that are unfamiliar with this app, Zomato is a restaurant searching tool that provides an in-depth owner and customer generated review of the menu, service and overall experience. The restaurant will either have a site or not, Zomato will provide the menu, photos, and reviews.
Zomato originated in India back in 2008, the brainchild of Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah. It started us as Foddiebay, but in late 2010 was renamed Zomato. Since then it has expanded rapidly and is now operating in 23 countries.
Zomato raised around $16.7 million from 2010 to 2013 and its main investor with 57.9% is “Info Edge India.” During 2012 Zomato made its first overseas expansion, and in November 2013 it successfully raised another $37 million from Sequoia Capital and Info Edge India. The company continued to expand, and in 2014 it bought out Lunchtime.cz and Obedovat.sk for a total of $3.25 million. It then bought out Polish restaurant search service Gastronauci, and in December 2013 it bought out Italian search app Cibando.
Zomato’s next big step was raising a further $60 million in a pre-valued round of $660 million. The main investors were Info Edge India and Vy Capital, and Sequoia Capital joined in. The $60 million was used to buy out Seattle based app company Urbanspoon. This buys out placed Zomato well and truly entrenched in the US as well as solidifying its global presence.
The funding didn’t stop there, and during 2015 they managed to raise a further $110 million from Info Edge, Vy Capital, Sequoia Capital and Temasek. The total funding to date was around $225 million.
During 2015 the money raised was used to finance buyouts of Indian based MapleGraph and US-based NexTable.
In 2017 Zomato introduced their Cloud Kitchen concept, and this is a platform for restaurants to expand their operations without having to invest in CapEx or another local spend.
Zomato claimed that it became profitable in September 2017.
The company has a food delivery service in India only.
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The App features include:
- Search for Restaurants, Cafes, Pubs, and Bars by location and or cuisine
- Explore every restaurant in your city, including the ones near your current location; you should use the search filters to find the one you prefer.
- View menus, pictures, phone numbers, directions, user reviews, and all the relevant information you need to decide which restaurant is your choice for Dine Out, Food Delivery, Nightlife, or Takeaway.
- Browse their theme-based curated lists; this will help you discover where to get the best burgers, perfect date spots, or the most popular and trending restaurants.
- Rate and review restaurants: share photos at the restaurant, documenting your experiences and opinions as they happen.
- Preferred List maintenance including favorites and bookmarked locations.
- Locational finding with a map to find all the places closest to where you are.
- An online community of friends that you can check out to see where they are eating, and what they like.
- Add your restaurants to Dineline
- In-app table booking for select restaurants.
The app requires specific Permissions for the following access:
- Camera for recording your experiences and dishes.
- Contacts for accessing your Google account information when signing in via Google.
- Location to show you the closest places to where you are.
- Phone access for dialing the restaurant directly from the Restaurant listing.
- SMS the app needs the OTP for phone number verification when placing an Online Order.
- Storage for your photos and to access your photos for publishing with your reviews.
Bottom Line: This is a very easy app to use, in some countries it is extremely popular with exceptional coverage, and in others, it is slowly growing. Zomato is in 10,000 cities, was once called Urbanspoon and is one the major contenders in the restaurant search and delivery apps online.