India-born Zomato moves beyond reviews with Maple deal | business | Hindustan Times
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India-born Zomato moves beyond reviews with Maple deal

Zomato, one of India's biggest internet companies, has acquired cloud-based data firm MaplePOS to expand from restaurant reviews to online orders and payments, a top executive said on Tuesday.

business Updated: Apr 14, 2015 19:00 IST

Zomato, one of India's biggest internet companies, has acquired cloud-based data firm MaplePOS to expand from restaurant reviews to online orders and payments, a top executive said on Tuesday.

Zomato, present in 22 countries including the United States, said MaplePOS, now "Zomato Base", would be a database of customer details. It will also help restaurants with menu and inventory management, and has a built-in payment solution to accept debit and credit card payments.

"We are getting into table reservations and online ordering, so you need a very strong hold into the tech that our users need," Chief Executive Deepinder Goyal told Reuters.

Goyal did not say how much Zomato paid for the purchase, but said the company was rolling out a pilot for online ordering on Tuesday and would expand it to all Indian users by next week.

The company will start its online ordering services with around 4,000 restaurant partners, aiming to take that to over 10,000 in India eventually.

Zomato currently has 60,000 restaurant partners in India, the company said.

The startup, valued at around $1 billion, has invested outside India, buying U.S.-based rival Urbanspoon for about $50 million in one of the biggest overseas deals by an Indian startup. However, within India, the company has seen growing competition from other global rival Foodpanda, which already offers online ordering and payment options to users.

Foodpanda, backed by Rocket Internet, bought smaller rival TastyKhana in November and raised $110 million in March. Analysts say this has put pressure on Zomato to ensure users stick to its app.

Goyal said the company was investing in technology to make sure online transactions were glitch free by arming restaurants with iPads so they could accept orders and do away with a call centre, which accounted for delays.

"About 40% of orders placed online currently don't reach customers. We are making sure there is no glitch," Goyal said.