It looks like business review sites like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor will soon face new competition, as an Indian restaurant discovery portal looking to expand its reach is about to make its entry into the US and Australian markets.
In an all-cash deal that was reportedly worth $60 million, New Delhi-based restaurant and dining Web portal Zomato has bought restaurant review site Urbanspoon. Zomato has acquired six restaurant-based guides in the past six months. The Urbanspoon deal marks a big step forward for Zomato’s global expansion plans.
Zomato, which is backed by Sequoia Capital and Info Edge Ltd., is set to compete with Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and other similar sites that aggregate restaurant reviews, ratings, menus, photos, and business information in order to guide diners looking to decide where to eat. The site has already established its presence in the UK, Brazil, and New Zealand; its acquisition of Urbanspoon means that its coverage will include the US and Australian markets, with over 1 million restaurants across the globe and more than 80 million visitors per month.
“It might seem crazy, but we just acquired Urbanspoon,” Zomato announced in a company blog post. “Urbanspoon has been a dominant player in the US, Canada and Australia for years now, and it’s a great business that’s been built on a solid foundation of exhaustive, rich local restaurant content. Everything they’ve done has been powered by a fantastic team that shares our vision and core values, and brings a wealth of local knowledge and expertise to the table. As we stand here now, we felt joining forces with Urbanspoon would be the best way to turbocharge our growth and make our way into the US, Canada and Australia.”
Added Urbanspoon CEO Keela Robison: “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 across the board.”
If you’re a restaurant owner listed on Urbanspoon, you can enjoy new benefits from the change. Zomato has a successful hyperlocal advertising platform that connects business owners with diners, and it also has a dedicated business app for those looking to manage their listings and monitor and respond to online reviews.