Zomato has become the go-to app for all of us. No matter the cravings, the trusty app is your best bet to find great restaurants that cater to your every desire. But how did this company come to life? What is Zomato’s success story? These are the questions we will be answering today.
All of us have been a part of long lines at the canteen in college or the office, hoping to get a glance at the menu. But, Deepinger Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah had a life-changing idea seeing the long lines at Baines & Co, the company they worked at. They decided to make a website called FoodieBay where the scanned menus of restaurants were available to view. Soon all the employees began to use the website to save time which increased the traffic to their website and encouraged them to expand their website, making it accessible for everyone. In nine months, FoodieBay became the largest restaurant directory in Delhi NCR and soon extended its services to Mumbai and Kolkata.
In 2010, Foodiebay was changed officially to ‘Zomato,’ and there was no looking back. They received funding from Sanjeev Bikhchandani of Naukri.com, who was fascinated by the idea of Zomato, leading to an investment of US$ 1 million through Info Edge (India). The very next year, the same investors provided them a vast fund of US$ 3.5 million, followed by another US$10 million. This was a major contribution to Zomato’s success story.
The company rose to success on the shoulders of food. It started expanding its services to Sri Lanka, UAE, Qatar, South Africa, the UK, and the Philippines. In the year 2013, they added New Zealand, Turkey, and Brazil to the list. Zomato successfully launched its mobile app to stay on top of the trend and acquired Gastronauci, a restaurant search service from Poland, and Cibando, an Italian restaurant finder. The following year, Zomato acquired NexTable, a table reservation platform. Like all other start-ups, Zomato has had its fair share of hurdles. The founders overcame these challenges by constantly inventing and watching their competition closely and these challenges are also an important part of Zomato’s success story.
Zomato struggled with falling revenues and laid off about 300 employees in 2015 but managed to acquire MapleOS and expand its directory, database, and operations. The online table reservations and payments from Zomato were added to the services offered.
The team at Zomato also struggled to find a working solution to cover all restaurants in the major cities. But the founders and the team soon found a solution, making the app what it is today.
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With several added benefits like ZomatoPro and curated collections that appeal to customers, Zomato’s success story is inspiring and full of significant takeaways. With just-food, the app has conquered every Indian’s heart and continues to do so despite tough competition. I guess it’s true what they say “Aadmi ke dil ka raasta uske pet se hota hai.”