Delhi-based Dineout Services Pvt Ltd, the company that owns and operates the online restaurant reservation site Dineout, is in talks with an institutional investor in India to raise its Series A round of funding, a top executive of the firm told Techcircle.in. Dineout, which is currently present in Mumbai and Delhi, is also planning to expand its operations to Bangalore by April 2014.
"The talks are already in advanced stages, and we hope to close the deal by April-May this year," said Vivek Kapoor, co-founder and director, Dineout. He added that the Dineout has already started working on its Bangalore expansion plans. "The back-end works are going on and we have already roped in 30-40 restaurants so far. We are also eyeing other cities such as Kolkata, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad," he said.
In October 2012, Dineout had raised Rs 60 lakh from Ankush Nijhawan and Gaurav Bhatnagar, the founders of Travel Boutique Online.
The startup was founded in February 2012 by school friends-turned-fellow entrepreneurs Kapoor, Ankit Mehrotra, Sahil Jain, and Nikhil Bakshi. Jain is an IIM Kozhikode graduate, who was joined by Mehrotra, an investment banker who quit his job to start Dineout. Bakshi earlier worked with DSP BlackRock for five years, while Kapoor was a navigating officer with British Petroleum. The firm has partnered with more than 450 restaurants and claims to be doing on an average 20,000 bookings per month (Mumbai and Delhi combined).
Dineout recently added a customised deals section to its platform—along the lines of Groupon deals—that enables users to pick from a number of customised packages offered by its partner restaurants. The firm also offers mobile apps on the Android and iOS platforms, and claims that they account for almost 30 per cent of the total page traffic.
Apart from restaurant booking, the site offers restaurant listing and user reviews. The company has also started a restaurant-focused events section, which will primarily sell tickets for events taking place at popular restaurants. Dineout has also partnered with players like Timescity and Buzzintown, as part of which all restaurant reservations on these sites will be powered by Dineout.
A few weeks ago, it had partnered with TripAdvisor for restaurant reviews. Prior to that, it had appointed Piyush Trivedi, a former executive at Delhivery, as its head of technology.
A number of players like Zomato.com, TableGrabber.com, PoshVine.com and Tablewalla.com are operating in the online restaurant reservation and listings space in the country. Sequoia- and Info Edge-backed Zomato is one of the fast-growing restaurant listing and review sites in India and has already expanded into a number of foreign markets, including the UK, the UAE, South Africa, New Zealand, the Philippines, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Qatar.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)