While working for Bain in 2008, lunch time for Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah meant queueing for the restaurant menus before deciding their order. So the batch mates from IIT Delhi scanned menus and put them online. Soon, around 100 colleagues visited the website everyday. That’s how Foodiebay kicked off in July 2008 (re-branded as Zomato in 2010). Over the next few months, the website went live with listings of 1,200 restaurants in Delhi. Convinced of the potential, Goyal and Chaddah jumped into the job, backed by InfoEdge, which has pumped in around Rs.18 crore into the venture.
Today, the 150-people strong Zomato touts itself as India’s largest restaurant guide, listing over 30,000 eat-out places across 10 cities in the country. Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong and Russia are in the process of joining the list soon. “We are all about food and where one can find the best of it,” says Goyal. The challenge is to make the brand platform agnostic, helping users discover places to eat around them through the web, mobile and print, while retaining the “neighbourhood restaurant guide tag”.