The business was never far from the headlines a few years ago. It raised nearly $225 million over five years and went on an acquisition and international expansion spree, which included buying UrbanSpoon in the US for a reported $55 million.
It is no wonder then that everyone at Zomato “simply put [their] heads down to execute” during 2016.
The business now feels confident enough to raise its head above the parapet and talk up its growing revenues – up in the year by 80% to come in at $49 million.
As significant is the reining in of its previously eye-watering levels of cash burn. During the year to end-March16 it got through an average of $4.2 million in cash a month – by the end of March17 this has been slashed to $250,000.
It claims that it is now “well on [its] way to hit profitability”.
Where that profitability will come from is not clear. Its B2C operations – restaurant reviews, table reservations, an advertising product – continue to grow in terms of traffic. In March 2017 it was getting 120 million visitors (up 69% on March 16).
Its B2B business – including a cloud-based point of sale platform for restaurants and a back-end for online food delivery services – has been improved upon during the year, it claims.
The B2C side of the restaurant business is a difficult nut to crack. Priceline Inc rarely backs the wrong horse and the $940 million writedown it suffered two years after buying OpenTable for $2.6 billion indicates the scale of the difficulties.
Zomato appears to be in a much better shape now than it was a year ago. How it performs over the next twelve months will be critical.