Foddiebay’s Transition to a Billion-Dollar FoodTech Company Zomato

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Key Highlights

Before Foodiebay, Deepinder Goyal started a venture called Foodlet

Pankaj Chaddah joins the board and started a new venture called Foodiebay

The company was renamed as Zomato in 2010


Zomato is one of India’s renowed delivering and restaurant discovery applications. Launched in July 2008 under Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, Zomato is now available in 24 countries including India, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brasil, and the United States and the middle Qatar and has augmented into a $2.3 Billion company.

Zomato is India’s most-used food application, originally introduced as ‘Foodiebay’ in 2008, the period was of Indian start-up was at the peak. Goyal and Chaddah both are IIT graduates from 2005 and 2007 respectively and are former employees of the consulting firm Bain & Company. 

The idea for such startup sprang from them when after having to bum around for restaurant menus they ultimately decided to take the matter in their own hands. Foodiebay started as an internet dictionary or portfolio for restaurants menus. Before Foodiebay, Deepinder Goyal started a venture called Foodlet. It was founded with another friend Prasoon Jain in Delhi-NCR. Soon, Prasoon moved to Mumbai and left behind his venture. 

Foodlet struggled as a venture, due to lack of HR and business. This is when Pankaj Chaddah joins the board and started a new venture called Foodiebay. This turns out to be the turning point for the company. With just six people on board, they proved themselves to be the biggest restaurant directory in Delhi-NCR within 9 months of its launch. The company was renamed as Zomato in 2010. 

In 2011, Zomato started its operations in cities such as Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmadabad and Hyderabad. Soon, the application was launched for smartphones and other devices. To maintain the brand image and humour its users, ‘.xxx’ domain was launched which had pictures dedicated to food porn. 

In 2012, Zomato started its overseas operations in UAE, Sri Lanka, Qatar, United Kingdom, Philippines, and South Africa. Within next year Turkey, New Zealand and Brazil were added to the list as well. With its full blast expansion, Zomato acquired some foreign-based companies to strengthen its business.

In 2013, Zomato acquired Italian service firm Cibando Portuguese firm Gastronauci. They also acquired the American-based service firm called Nextable which gave Zomato a launch in the US market. 

In 2015, Zomato acquired MapleOS to extend its operations and build a new customer database. The helped them to increase the functionality of Zomato by offering online table booking and mobile payment options. 

In 2017, The company claimed to have in all of its 24 operating nations, including rolling out a zero-commission model. This was done to give momentum to small businesses and restaurants owners around its user base. They claimed to have a growth of 81% in that specific year. The company also reached the ordering service of 3 million orders in one month. 

In 2018, Zomato received funding from Ant Financial Services that made the company’s evaluation reach $1.1 billion. Zomato added itself into the Indian unicorn companies list. 

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Rajat Mehrotra

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