Indian foodtech giant Zomato pulls plug on its operations in Indonesia

Photo: Mint

Indian foodtech unicornZomato has ceased the operation of its premium service in Indonesia, the company announced on Twitter.

With the winding up of its Zomato Pro service, premium users can no longer enjoy the benefit of exclusive offers from restaurants, cafes, and bars. However, they will be able to access the free Zomato search on its app.

“Zomato pro is available till November 30, 2020 or your membership’s expiration date, whichever is earlier. After this date, you can use Zomato to search and discover your favourite restaurants to dine out,” the company said in response to a query on Twitter on Wednesday.

The company’s website in the archipelago states that “Zomato Pro is currently not available in Jakarta”.

And, it’s not Indonesia alone. The Indian startup has reportedly put up the shutters for its premium subscribers in the Philippines market as well. According to a report by Rappler, the company made the announcement on its email to its premium users.

The move comes at a time when the food industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. In India for instance, both Zomato and its rival Swiggy are staring at a severe business and revenue loss over the past few months as people continue to remain skeptical about eating out as the coronavirus fear looms large.

In Jakarta, which is undergoing the second phase of social distancing measures since the virus struck, almost all restaurants and eateries have been forced to close their dine-in services.

According to the National Restaurant Association around 100,000 bars and restaurants have closed, with 15 per cent of them winding up permanently.

For its premium subscription, Zomato Indonesia has already started offering refunds, which it says will be processed within 15-30 working days.

“You will receive your membership funds back as stated in the email/application via the account (debit/credit) that you used to buy membership gold/pro,” reads an announcement on Twitter.

Interestingly, the development comes a month after Zomato raised $62 million (Rs 456 crore) from Singapore’s state investment arm Temasek Holdings at a valuation of $3.25 billion.

The company is also in preliminary talks to raise a fresh tranche of funding from venture capital fund Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund as we had reported earlier.

In May, Zomato had announced that it will let go of 13 per cent of its staff, affecting close to 520 employees. To curtail losses, the company has even started grocery delivery services across India.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.