[The Turning Point] From Foodiebay to IPO-bound Zomato, we take a look at how the foodtech unicorn tasted success
Foodtech unicorn Zomato, which is eyeing a post-issue valuation of Rs 64,365 crore after its IPO next week, was started as Foodiebay in 2008.
However, Zomato is not the first venture of Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal. Deepinder had earlier tried his hands at entrepreneurship in 2015 with online food delivery startup foodlet.com. The platform would tieup with restaurants and put up their promotions on the website. Deepinder and his team worked on the venture for nine months and tried hard to make it operational, but due to lack of resources, they had to shut shop.
Deepinder attributed the failure to two reasons in particular - firstly, customers were not willing to order food online; and secondly, a lot of time was required for operating the venture.
The turning point
Deepinder did not stop here. He quickly jumped onto the next idea in the same sector and started Foodiebay in 2008 along with Pankaj Chaddha.
Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddha in 2008
Deepinder and Pankaj knew each other from IIT Delhi. Like most IIT graduates, they joined the corporate world and became executives at Bain Consulting. Both foodies, while working there, they agreed that it was always a struggle to find restaurant menus online. They had to either head to pantry areas or ask friends for the menu so that they could order food or head to a nice restaurant. This need gave them the idea to start Foodiebay.com.
It was started to offer customised food guides with personalised reviews and menus. According to Deepinder, Pankaj joining Foodiebay has been a turning point for the startup.
Speaking to YourStory in an earlier conversation, Deepinder called Pankaj the lifeline of Foodiebay. After 10 years at Zomato, Pankaj quit the startup in 2018 to co-found mental health startup Mindhouse. In 2010, the online food guide and restaurant directory rebranded itself as Zomato, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Gurugram-based foodtech unicorn, which has almost become synonymous with food, has come a long way since then. From offering services like restaurant discovery and reviews, it expanded to home delivery of food, online table reservation, and it is now eyeing areas such as grocery and nutraceuticals.
At present, the platform connects over 55 million users to restaurants in 24 countries across the world.
Zomato’s major investors include likes of Info Edge, Tiger Global, Kora Capital, Sequoia Capital India, Temasek, and Ant Group.
All set for its IPO now, Zomato has been one of the biggest startup success stories to emerge out of India over the past decade. The company’s IPO will open for subscription on July 14 and close on July 16.