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Zomato goes global, brings forth the taste of Dubai

Gurgaon-based DC Foodiebay Online Services Pvt Ltd, which owns the popular restaurant and event listing site Zomato, has forayed into the global market with the launch of a new section targeted at Dubai.

The company claims that the Dubai section of the site currently lists more than 3,500 restaurants – featuring scanned menu, rating, reviews, maps and photos for each facility. Therefore, users know exactly what to expect when they enter those restaurants.

IIT Delhi alumni and ex-Bain employees Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah set up Zomato in July 2008. Its Dubai launch is the first step to drive global growth across South-east Asia and the Middle East.

In a previous interview with Techcircle.in, Goyal had mentioned Zomato's global expansion plans and said that the company would first expand to Singapore in September 2012, where a 20-strong team is already in place, followed by Hong Kong, Dubai and Moscow, by the end of the year.

When the site was started, it was only catering to Delhi-NCR. But later, Zomato expanded its services to 12 cities in India, listing over 40,000 restaurants. Besides Delhi-NCR, other cities on Zomato's map are Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Indore. The site attracts more than 4 million users every month and the company has 150 people on board.

Albinder Dhindsa, head of international expansion at Zomato, said, "We have been focusing on increasing our reach beyond India over the past couple of months. Dubai is one of the most popular business hubs globally, has a vibrant restaurant industry and has high Internet penetration – making it a good market for us to expand into."

The startup is backed by public-listed internet firm Info Edge (India) Ltd, the company behind the popular job site Naukri.com, and it has invested over $6.5 million in Zomato since 2010. The company is now looking to raise a third round of funding to back its international plans.

Zomato recently forayed into the print space as well with a co-branded (and we guess, sponsored) Citibank Zomato Restaurant Guide 2012, for four cities – Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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