Info Edge (India) Ltd, which runs the recruitment site Naukri.com and other classifieds like matrimonial site Jeevansathi.com and real estate portal 99acres.com, has invested Rs 12.86 crore ($2.3 million) more in Zomato Media Pvt Ltd that runs Zomato.com, a site providing restaurant reviews, ratings and advertisements.
The fresh investment has been made through optionally convertible cumulative redeemable preference shares of Zomato Media.
With this round, Info Edge’s total investment in Zomato has moved up to Rs 31.06 crore and its total holding has risen to 48.5 per cent.
Zomato was founded by IIT Delhi alumni and ex-Bain employees Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in July 2008. Prior to the current round, it has raised two rounds of external funding from Info Edge – the first round in August 2010 and the second in September 2011. The capital was used to fund the startup’s product development, sales and marketing efforts besides hiring people and opening more offices.
“Technically it might be a third round but it’s more of a follow-on of our second round only. We are looking to raise another larger round and bring external investors on board,” Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddah told Techcircle.in.
According to Chaddah, the fresh funds raised would be utilised for international expansion. “We have already launched our portal in Dubai and have a team at Singapore. In the near future, the Singapore portal will go live while the Sharjah & Abu Dhabi portal should be live in about 20 days. Our India operations would break even in six months from now. So this capital has been primarily raised for international expansion,” he said.
He added that the latest funding would last for about 9-12 months and the firm would be back on the road, finalising the next round in 3-6 months’ time to have a buffer.
Earlier this month, Zomato launched its Dubai operations and Chaddah informed us that it was already garnering some 5,000 users a day and received around 1,500 reviews.
This is the second back-to-back re-investment by Info Edge in a company where it has an existing exposure. Last week, it invested Rs 5 crore ($0.9 million) more in private sales portal 99labels.com, taking its total investment in the company to around $4.5 million. Info Edge had originally invested $3.5 million in 99labels in May 2011. 99labels.com is a members-only, flash sale site, offering luxury brands in fashion apparel, lifestyle products, accessories, footwear, watches, jewellery, fragrances and home décor.
Last month, Info Edge also made a fresh bet by investing $6.5 million (Rs 35 crore) in Bangalore-based online photography company Canvera Digital Technologies Pvt Ltd.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)