Zomato assists foodies with the logistics of making an informed eating-out, ordering-in or just a hang out destination

An online food and lifestyle guide, Zomato.com is all set to move to the next course in its endeavour to help people satiate their gastronomic needs. In addition to giving people the exact location of the finest eateries in 10 Indian cities, the website has now added an events section to help people virtually ‘chill out' in the evenings.

The website was started by two young alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi -- Pankaj Chaddah and Deepinder Goyal -- who wanted to be different. They passed out in 2007 and www.zomato.com went live in 2008. It currently helps about a million hungry people a month, assisting with the logistics of making an informed eating-out, ordering-in or just a hang out destination. Navigation is very simple. Just go to www.zomato.com and an impressive array of eateries and cuisines are right there.

“It's not just about having a website for access using a laptop or a desktop. We have designed applications for use on all major smartphone platforms, be it Android, iPhone, Nokia or BlackBerry. We now cover about 400 upcoming events in New Delhi, National Capital Region, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune and the other cities will be included soon,” says Pankaj.

Funding

Interestingly, the company has received funding to the tune of a whopping US $ 3 million (about Rs. 13.5 crore) from Info Edge (India) Limited (Naukri.com) this September. Earlier, in August last, it got US $ 1 million from the same source. The revenue model is very simple. Restaurants put up their advertisements on the website, while listing is free.

“The funds are necessary to expand visibility for ourselves and our advertising clients,” says Pankaj, Co-Founder and COO of Zomato, who has an estimated 19,900 restaurants across 10 cities in India, with Hyderabad (1,356) being the latest addition to the company's website that has drawn accolades in every city that it has entered. “We have about 100 full-time ‘foodies' on board, who live, breathe, write and eat for a living,” says the young engineer.