Indian Startup Zomato Acquires Restaurant Review Website Urbanspoon In An All-Cash Deal

Photo: Getty Images

Restaurant discovery app Zomato has acquired Urbanspoon for an undisclosed amount, signalling the platform’s entry into the Australian market.

The all-cash deal, reportedly valued at around $50 million to $60 million, will see Zomato hire around 300 people in Australia in the short term, with an investment of $10 million in the next 12 months to consolidate their market leadership.

Zomato’s app features scanned menus and images sourced by local street teams in each city where it has a major presence. Users are able to rate and review restaurants and create a network of personalised recommendations.

The acquisition is the latest in a string of purchases by the Sequoia-backed Indian company. Zomato says the deal is one of the largest purchases of a US-based consumer internet company by an Indian startup.

“Our Australia entry has been on the cards for a while now… we launched our New Zealand operations last year as a pilot for the Australia market, and we are confident that we now have a playbook to succeed in Australia,” Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said.

“This acquisition has a lot to offer restaurant business in Australia. Zomato’s hyperlocal advertising model, combined with the Zomato for Business app suite, will allow restaurant business to reach out to, connect with, and engage customers like never before.”

Goyal said the two products will be integrated over the next few months, moving all Urbanspoon traffic to Zomato.com, while Urbanspoon app users will be able to use the Zomato app in Australia.

This is the second time that Urbanspoon has been acquired since its beginnings in 2006. It was purchased by IAC in 2009 for an undisclosed amount.

The integration of Urbanspoon in the US is anticipated to more than double Zomato’s web traffic to 80 million visits per month and grow its listings to one million from 300,000.

Zomato is now present in 22 countries around the world. The map below shows the spread of Zomato and Urbanspoon on a global scale.

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