Zomato raises $60M round

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Restaurant review app Zomato has raised a $60 million round, led by Singapore investment company Temasek, and will use some of those funds to introduce its new online ordering service to the UAE.

Zomato, which is headquartered in India but has built a major presence in the Gulf and Lebanon since 2013, has now raised a total of $225 million from investors including India's Info Edge, Sequoia India and Vy Capital (which also participated in this round).

The company was valued at $1 billion in April, following another round of $50 million.

“With this round, and with some of our markets turning profitable recently, Zomato is well capitalized for at least two years. We are also stoked to have Temasek partner with us, and are looking forward to building one of the largest food-tech companies in the world,” CEO and founder Deepinder Goyal said in a statement.

Zomato will use the funds to develop new businesses in online ordering, table reservations, point of sales, and the whitelabel platform - announced on Monday - which will licence the in-house technology to companies wanting to build their own apps and services on top.

On the company blog on Monday, CFO Umesh Hora said the round would allow them to expand further in the 22 countries it’s already working in and into new locations.

“Just last week, we launched our online ordering services in the UAE, and will soon be rolling it out to Australia and South Africa. Over the next few months, we’ll be launching our table reservations service Zomato Book, our point-of-sale system Zomato Base, and rolling out our Whitelabel platform across geographies,” he said.

Zomato currently receives about five million visits a month from UAE, Qatar and Lebanon, and has a team of over 250 people in the UAE and will hire another 200 people in the Middle East over the next 6-12 months.

South East Asia interest

The Temasek interest in Zomato is the latest in a handful of investments into the region by southeast Asia-based venture capital firms.

Singaporean VC Hatcher partnered with iMENA in a Series A round for Dubai payment gateway Telr in 2014, and in 2012 Malaysian VC Frontier Digital Ventures invested in PropertyFinder.ae.

Zomato launched in the UAE in 2013, seven years after it was founded in 2008. They’ve seen off their closest competitor at the time, YaDig which has since closed, and has taken on the Lebanese, Qatari and Turkish markets.

Other major food ordering apps and websites in the region include Otlob in Egypt, and Rocket-owned Delivery Hero in Turkey and iFood in Jordan.

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