The Story of Zomato | TheBizdom

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Conceptualised in the cafeteria of Bain & Company, Zomato started as “Foodiebay”.

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The Brain at Bain

Tired of the crumbling outdated menu cards one had to stand in queue to access outside their office pantry, during the lunch hour. Deepinder Goyal decided to set up an intra-office Website in early 2008 that essentially had scanned menus and contact numbers of restaurants in Gurgaon, so that everyone could access it with little problems. He named it “foodlet.com”. He then started looking for his partners-in-crime.

He soon met Pankaj Chaddah, and the founding team started getting into shape.

Spurred on by office mates, the duo added all the restaurants in Gurgaon and then expanded their coverage to include 700 restaurants in Delhi by July 2008. The Website, foodiebay, as it was then known, had a database of 1,200 restaurants in Delhi NCR. They quickly expanded to Kolkata and then Mumbai.

Recommendation engine

Burrp was the first food tech company in India followed by Zomato.
The core idea was to bring new orders for restaurants and replace their age old phone-ordering system with web and mobile platforms. Both Burrp and Zomato would neither cook nor deliver the food hence, cannot exercise control over the quality of food or the delivery service.

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Zomato.com soon attracted a lot of attention as it received Rs 4.7 crore from Info Edge for a significant minority stake. Around the same time, Burrp.com (a key rival in this space) was acquired by Network18 for Rs. 4 crore.

Now, the key difference was that Burrp.com was an outright sale and the promoters moved on, while in the case of Zomato core team remained with them, and Infoedge just played as a strategic investor.

Name Change

By Nov 2010, Foodiebay metamorphosed into Zomato. As it contained the words “ebay”, so as to avoid a possible future conflict with eBay. The name Zomato is just a word that rhymes with tomato!

Some of their viral campaigns during this phase were

Global Expansion


Post the name change, they decided to be a global brand. Zomato.com decided to guides you to the best eateries around town. Aim was to provide information on home delivery, dine- out, cafes and nightlife in some of the main cities of the world.

Entering/Exiting of Foodpanda

Foodpanda, part of Berlin headquartered Rocket Internet, is/was an online food delivery marketplace which commenced its operations in India in 2012. It soon acquired TastyKhana and Justeat by 2015, just almost killing all the competition. Swiggy entered the market by August 2014, and along with TinyOwl, they tried to make it a three-way fight. But then due to their internal crises, Foodpanda had to exit Indian market, and TinyOwl also closed down their operation.

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Their logo during that time and the pun on that.

Zomato in their Present Avatar


By Sep, 2015. Zomato, then active in 14 cities, decided to give a fight to online food delivery players. They joined hands with Wendy’s and Domino’s, and for the first time brought these Global brands. And, the rest they say is HISTORY!

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Siddharth Misra

Siddharth Misra

Siddharth posts regular tweet threads on History/Culture/Tech, etc. He loves Data and talks about Modern Indian & Business History.
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