Zomato acquires Urbanspoon for $60 mn, enters the US market

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Online restaurant search and discovery service Zomato announced that it has acquired Urbanspoon for an estimated $60 million in an all-cash deal. This acquisition marks Zomato's entry into the United States. Now, Zomato is present in 22 countries across the world.

 The integration of Urbanspoon is expected to more than double Zomato’s web traffic to 80 million visits per month from 35 million, and grow its listings to one million from 300,000.

Commenting on this acquisition, Deepinder Goyal, Founder and CEO of Zomato, said, "Our US entry has been in the cards for a while now, and we're delighted to be doing so by welcoming Urbanspoon into Zomato. They have a strong presence in the US and the UK, and they also dominate restaurant search in Australia and Canada. Urbanspoon has a huge following, and is home to legions of people who are as passionate about food as we are. We will soon be integrating the two products to bring the best of both products to our users in the United States as well as the rest of the world."

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The teams will be working closely over the coming months to integrate Urbanspoon into Zomato. In due course of time, all Urbanspoon traffic will move to Zomato.com, and all Urbanspoon app users will be able to use the Zomato app. This acquisition also has a lot to offer to restaurant businesses. Zomato's hyperlocal advertising model, combined with the Zomato for Business app suite, will allow restaurant businesses to reach out to, connect with, and engage customers like never before.

"Zomato has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years, and our customer bases complement each other's perfectly," said Keela Robison, Urbanspoon CEO. "Zomato's significant investments in people and technology will bring Urbanspoon customers, restaurant owners, and food bloggers a number of new capabilities and features. We're excited to combine our strengths to accelerate growth."

This is the second time that Urbanspoon, which was founded in 2006, has been acquired. In 2009, it was purchased by IAC for an undisclosed amount. A couple years after that, however, CityGrid (the IAC brand that operated Urbanspoon) began to scale back its operations as it changed advertising models. Two rounds of layoffs occurred in 2012 and 2013 as part of CityGrid’s efforts to “streamline.” After selling Urbanspoon, CityGrid’s remaining ad listings portals are CitySearch, Insider Pages, and phone advertising company Felix.

Founded in 2008, Zomato has raised a total of $113.8 million so far, which it has used to fuel a worldwide acquisitions spree. Its latest funding round in November 2014, in which it picked up $60 million, gave the company a post-money valuation of $660 million.This is Zomato's sixth acquisition in the last six months, and the biggest one. Zomato has recently acquired local dominant restaurant search players in New Zealand, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy.


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