INDIA – India food delivery platform Zomato has filed for a US$1.11 billion IPO as food delivery surges in India amid a raging pandemic that has so far infceted more than 18 million people and killed over 200,000 others.

Launched in 2008, Zomato is one of India’s most prominent startups, currently present in 24 countries and reported to employ more than 5,000 people, according to its website.

The company, along with domestic rival Swiggy, backed by Accel, dominates the Indian food delivery market, which research firm RedSeer estimates is worth US$4.2 billion.

In February, the company raised US$250 million from five investors including hedge fund Tiger Global Management for a post-money valuation of US$5.4 billion.

According to draft papers submitted to India’s market regulator on Wednesday, Zomato’s offering will comprise a fresh issue of shares worth up to Rs 75 billion (about US$1.11 billion).

A report by ET Retail revealed that Top shareholder Info Edge will sell shares worth Rs 7.5 billion (about US$100 million) in the IPO.

The company  backed by China’s Ant Group said it intends to use the proceeds to fund growth initiatives and general corporate purposes.

An Inclusive Board

The IPO-bound food-delivery firm Zomato has also added five new independent members on its board, four of whom are women.

“I’m elated to share that we have five independent members on our board of eight people, four of whom are women,” Zomato’s cofounder & CEO, Deepinder Goyal, said In a blog post.

“More than gender diversity though, what we have always been gunning for is cognitive diversity across levels in our organisation. Evidence based research shows that a key prerequisite for innovation comes from cognitively diverse people.”

Covid impacts India’s stock market

India has been one of the hottest IPO markets so far in 2021, helped by a flood of foreign money and high interest from mom-and-pop investors.

However, since late March, a second wave of coronavirus infections has dampened investor enthusiasm for stocks and IPOs.

Well-known domestic brands and names such as Barbeque-Nation Hospitality Ltd and Macrotech Developers Ltd saw a muted response to their stock market listings.

Kotak Mahindra Capital, Morgan Stanley India, Credit Suisse Securities India, BofA Securities India and Citigroup Global Markets India are the lead book running managers for Zomato’s IPO.

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