HTLS 2019| Entrepreneurs lay emphasis on tech as an enabler for business models
The Zomato founder said his company, which provides one of the biggest platforms for online food delivery in the country, needs to decide whether it wants increase its valuation or create one in the days to come.Updated: Dec 06, 2019 23:45 IST
Online food delivery platform Zomato is looking to raise up to $600 million by next month in a new funding round, the company’s founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said on Friday, adding that the firm is making efforts to achieve its mission of ‘better food for everyone’.
“We are going to raise $500-600 million by next month or so,” Goyal said at the 17th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
At the summit, young entrepreneurs emphasised the use of technology as an enabler for building a sustainable business model of the future and spoke about the need for founders and promoters to create value systems instead of merely focusing on boosting profits of their firms.
The Zomato founder said his company, which provides one of the biggest platforms for online food delivery in the country, needs to decide whether it wants to increase its valuation or create one in the days to come.
“Ten years ago, you could have a purely tech-driven business with nothing else around it. But nowadays.. you have to have other things around your tech to build your business which is large and great. For us, tech is just an enabler which helps us reach our customers and gives us access to millions of people, but the business is not tech. We want to build a company which serves better food to everyone,” he said.
Canadian entrepreneur Brad Loiselle, who is the founder and chairman of BetterU Education Corporation, an online education platform, said technology was an enabler and not a solution. He said the bottom line was never been the focus for his company. “We will make money but money has never been a driver.From a sustainability perspective, there are lots of ways to raise money. One is through government support. Another way is through business and skilling up. Our focus has not been revenue generation, but to build the proper models that make sense for this country,” added Loiselle.
Also present at the HT Summit was Jeremy Jauncey, who started Beautiful Destinations, a platform that is redefining travel marketing in a hyper-connected world. Started as an Instagram account in 2012, it now has over 12 million followers and has become a thriving travel community on social media.
Travel is a force for good in the world. It is a universal language that connects people regardless of age, gender, income or where you come from,” said Jauncey. Talking about the growth of Beautiful Destinations, which has a combination of original and user-generated content and offers services such as a creative agency, the 34-year-old entrepreneur said: “There has been this enormous movement towards mobile and social that has connected people in a way that has never happened before... The business is, as a strategy, a nationbranding agency that helps governments at the state, city level to do their national brand, and move it into a space of young people, who are mobile and social, and consuming content -- to be a bridge between the individuals running the world and the group of individuals who will inherit the world.”
According to Zomato’s Goyal, it is getting harder to raise money but good companies will still get funding. “When you raise money at a billion dollar valuation, then you are expected to become $5 billion company next and for that you have to raise money again. Then you are asked to aim at $10 billion. When your competitor has raised a billion then you also need to raise some funds. It never ends and you have to take a conscious call on whether you’re building to drive up the valuation or are you trying to create value for your customers,” added Goyal.
For BetterU’s Loiselle, the challenge of raising money can be met. “Generating revenue is not hard if you have the right models,” he added.