Zomato, An India-Based Restaurant Directory Startup, Just Acquired IAC's Urbanspoon To Make Its Move Into The US


Deepinder Goyal Zomato CEOZomatoDeepinder Goyal, Zomato CEO and founder.

IAC-owned Urbanspoon has been acquired by Indian startup Zomato, a restaurant directory service, the companies announced Monday.

Sources report the deal is between $50-60 million. A report from GeekWire published Sunday said Urbanspoon CEO Keela Robison would depart as part of the acquisition, but Zomato did not confirm that information.

Zomato, which was founded in New Delhi in 2008, has expanded to provide 330,000 listings for restaurants in countries including Canada, Brazil, and Ireland. 

With the acquisition of Urbanspoon, Zomato will break into the US market, competing against services like Foursquare and Yelp and bringing the total number of countries served by Zomato to 22.

Unlike its competitors, Zomato's approach to getting information about restaurants is grassroots: the company hires locals to curate restaurant information, take pictures, scan menus, and create recommendations. Zomato also includes real-time information about the restaurant and lets users book tables through its iOS and Android apps.

"Zomato has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years, and our customer bases complement each other's perfectly," Urbanspoon CEO Keela Robison said. "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."

Zomato has acquired six local restaurant search companies in New Zealand, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy and Turkey in the past six months, including MenuMania in New Zealand and Cibando in Italy.

Urbanspoon, which was founded in 2006 and in 2009 was acquired by Barry Diller's IAC, is Zomato's first US acquisition.

"We have been planning our entry into the North American market for some time, and Urbanspoon's excellent reputation and foothold in North America, Australia and the UK provides the perfect opportunity for our global growth," said Deepinder Goyal, Zomato's CEO and founder. "We are delighted to welcome Urbanspoon and their audience into Zomato. We will soon be integrating the two platforms to bring the best of both products to all of our users." 

The acquisition will more than triple Zomato's restaurant inventory from 300,000 to more than 1,000,000 restaurants around the world. In coming months, Urbanspoon traffic's will move to Zomato.com, and all Urbanspoon app users will use the Zomato app.

Zomato raised $60 million in venture funding in November from Sequoia, Info Edge and Vy Capital, bringing the total amount of funding raised by the company to $113 million.