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Zomato seeking small stakes in food ordering start-ups abroad


It’s looking to compensate for a late entry into the food ordering business.

Zomato, prominent in restaurant search and review space, is now looking to buy minority stakes in food- delivery firms outside India as it seeks to expand its online ordering business in overseas markets.

The Gurgaon-based company which has presence in 22 countries including the US, the UAE, Australia and Turkey, is trying to compensate for having been a late entrant into the potentially lucrative food-ordering business, which it ventured into only in May. It plans to buy small stakes of 5-10% in early-stage food delivery firms, said co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal.

“We do not have the team or bandwidth to do last-mile delivery on our own; it’s a completely different business. If we make these investments they will be just like the seven acquisitions we made one after the other in a very short span,” said Goyal.

It is also in early-stage discussions with food delivery companies in India, though Goyal did not disclose further details. It introduced a food-ordering option only this year, only after well-funded food-tech start-ups, like Foodpanda, TinyOwl and Swiggy, grabbed a significant chunk of the market.

Zomato, which has thus far raised USD 113 million, acquired companies including US-based Urbanspoon and Nextable, Turkey’s Mekanist, Cibando in Italy, Menu Mania in New Zealand, Lunchtime in the Czech Republic and Obedovat in Slovakia, among others, within a six-month period.

While Zomato is planning to outsource the function of last-mile delivery, Foodpanda, TinyOwl and Swiggy have decided to build the capability in-house to keep a tighter control over the service. Zomato will soon launch food delivery services in countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, Australia and South Africa, within the next 30 days.

Source: Live Mint

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