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Jan, 18 2017

EazyDiner all set to explore online restaurant booking in Indonesia, Thailand

EazyDiner, a restaurant booking and reviews platform, is in talks with potential investors to raise funding in order to go international.

With an international expansion in mind, EazyDiner, a restaurant booking and reviews platform, is in talks with potential investors to raise a fresh round of funding.

The new company on the block, co-founded by media personality Vir Sanghvi and six professionals with a background in food, beverages and hospitality sectors, has targeted Indonesia and Thailand as its next two markets.

As per company officials, the brand plans of enter the South East and South Asian markets over the next 12 months.

EazyDiner launched services in Dubai in December. The startup, which combines the services of Google-owned dining guide Zagat, NYSE-listed restaurant review firm Yelp and Priceline-owned restaurant booking service OpenTable, is also backed by two consumer-focused venture capital firms, DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital.

The funding and expansion came to light when investor interest in India’s broader foodtech space waned, with the startup ecosystem littered with the still-smoking embers of ventures that promised to deliver exceptional dining experiences to the notoriously fickle-minded and price conscious Indian consumer.

The combination of low entry barriers and lack of sustainable business models with wafer-thin margins on offer compelled investors to curtail their appetite for the ventures.

EazyDiner, a platform, which also provides content and reviews, operates one of the country’s largest dining loyalty programmes has carved a different path for itself. Aman Kapur, one of the cofounders said, “We were never, and in fact, will never get into food delivery. The economics just don’t make sense, at least in a market like India…We believe it requires a very different skill-set.”

EazyDiner has raised about $4 million in funding till date and counts Gurpreet Kohli, former managing director of Chrys Capital, as one of its early backers. The company operates in seven locations – the National Capital Region, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai and Goa.

According to Shruti Kaul, another cofounder, “The focus is to go deeper into our existing markets and really establish our footprints in each of them rather than just go on an unrestrained growth across geographies.”

EazyDiner has provided most establishments with its proprietary SaaS-based table reservation platform and has a guaranteed inventory with the rest, enabling them to provide bookings to consumers on an immediate basis. The platform lists about 2,000 restaurants, with more than 500 spread across NCR.

Gurgaon, where the company is headquartered and where it first launched operations, has played a critical role. The NCR’s startup hub, which rivals Bengaluru in its concentration of the country’s new economy ventures, has played a significant part in its growth.

According to Kaul, “Gurgaon, possibly, deserves its own mention alongside Mumbai and Delhi. It’s the third-largest contributor after the two metros. Gurgaon contributes 15% of the company’s business across the country, outpacing Bengaluru. On the other hand, Kapur said, “For a small suburb, it’s huge. We have about 275 restaurants in Gurgaon on our platform, ranging from luxury establishments to budget restaurants.”

According to both founders, emergence of the Haryana city as a startup destination has played a role in defining, as well as evolving, consumer behaviour, particularly when it comes to dining habits. As per Kaul, “The ability to experiment there is phenomenal and probably much more than the other metro. We also see that people living to working in Gurgaon, while traveling, indulge in a lot more cross-dining than any other city in India.”

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