Zomato in talks to raise between US$500m and US$1b in ecommerce grapple

INDIA – Leading food delivery platform, Zomato is in talks to raise between US$500 million and US$1 billion in a new financing round in a struggle to become the leading restaurant search and discovery service in India.

According to an ET Retail report citing three people familiar with the matter, Zomato is in discussions with Chinese private equity major Primavera Capital and existing backer Alibaba’s payments affiliate, Ant Financial who will lead the round of fund raising in addition to the existing investors.

When asked about the matter, a Zomato representative said: “There is a new round that we are talking to potential investors (including Ant Financial) for our new fundraise.

This will be at a premium to the last round as the company has more than doubled in size since the last round was finalised.”

One of the people aware of the discussions revealed that Primavera may invest about US$200 million in the upcoming round while the remaining amount could come from Ant Financial.

Primavera is an investor in Ant Financial as well as the Chinese ecommerce major’s local services unit Koubei, which was recently merged with another Alibaba unit, food delivery platform Ele.me.

Together with to-be investment in Zomato, the China-based capital investor has made other co-investments along with Ant Financial in KFC owner’s spinout Yum China and bike-sharing company Hellobike.

One of the persons mentioned above said that Zomato’s talks with Ant Financial’s parent Alibaba has also been ongoing for a very long period along with others like Chinese Ctrip.

The development seems like a counter-funding to Swiggy’s recent US$1 billion fund raise.

Zomato claimed to have become the market leader with 21 million orders a month last October and received US$410 million from Ant Financial, which now owns 28% stake in the company.

Swiggy, which most analysts claim to top the market is keenly watching Zomato, both banking on discounts and incentives to woo consumers and delivery personnel.

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