Delhi-based Zomato has ventured into table booking service with the acquisition of US-based NexTable, which helps customers make restaurant reservations in real time, and has table management and marketing tools for restaurants. NexTable competes with OpenTable and SeatMe in the US. Zomato plans to rename it as Zomato Book. The move comes a week after the Delhi statrtup raised $50 million in Series F funding and acquired cloud-based restaurant product MaplePOS. NexTable is Zomato’s second acquisition in the US, following Urbanspoon for $52 million in January this year. Deepinder Goyal, co-founder and CEO, Zomato, talks to Avanish Tiwary on the new acquisition. Excerpts
How much was the NexTable acquisition worth?
We are not disclosing the deal value. It is a cash-and-stock deal. We have absorbed the team; the key members of the team are TC DeSilva and Robert Tyree.
How does the technology work? Nobody in India, including you, has forayed into table booking citing several problems.
India is only 8% of our traffic now. We are not building products with just India in mind anymore. We will introduce the table reservation product in Australia, and then get to India in a couple of months after we figure out answers to some of the issues unique to India.
What is the monetisation model for table bookings?
It will be a hybrid: a flat subscription fee and a pay-per-cover model. It will also vary across countries and markets.
By when will you launch the service in India? Which cities will you start with?
We are hoping to launch by August-September if product development stays on course. We will start with Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru as these are our largest markets.
How do you plan to catch up with those having the online payment option? You launched it only recently.
We don’t have to catch up. They have to!