Zomato’s chief operating officer to step down in leadership shuffle ahead of IPO

Photo: Zomato

Foodtech unicorn Zomato, which is gearing up for its public market debut, has seen its chief operating officer (COO) and co-founder Gaurav Gupta step down from his current role in the company, said two people familiar with the matter.

Gupta, who has been with Zomato for over five years and was given the ‘co-founder’ title in March, 2019 by CEO Deepinder Goyal, will focusing on launching the company’s nutrition business.

Since last year, Zomato has been running pilots for its ‘health and nutrition’ business, which currently is a filter on the Zomato app, and details out food ordering-options for calorie-conscious customers, looking to try keto and other diets.

“I will be vacating the COO position at Zomato. I was anyway not doing this role, and it will be great for all of us if we find someone better than me to do this role at Zomato […] I will be focusing on launching our nutrition business (you must have gotten a few surveys in the recent past). This business can potentially be a large value driver for Zomato in the future,” said Gaurav Gupta, in an internal memo to employees.

Goyal will be taking over Zomato’s premium service Pro and its dining vertical, which was previously managed by Gupta.

Zomato confirmed the development but didn’t share details on the new COO and the new designation for Gupta.

Zomato will be promoting an internal employee, if need be, to head its operations, said one person mentioned above.

Over the past few weeks, the Gurugram-based firm has been reshuffling its leadership, before the proposed initial public offering (IPO), in the first half of 2021. Last month, the company elevated Akshant Goyal, as Zomato’s newest new chief financial officer (CFO), who was earlier heading corporate development for the company.

CFO Goyal was earlier Vice President of Kotak Investment Banking. Last week, Mint reported that Zomato has appointed Kotak Mahindra Bank as merchant banker and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Indus Law as legal advisors for its IPO process.

Akriti Chopra, who was earlier the company CFO and led Zomato’s fundraising efforts until now, will be responsible for people development for the organization.

The news on Gupta stepping down was first reported by Moneycontrol.

Last week, Mint also reported that Zomato will raise a little more than $146.5 million as a part of its ongoing Series J round of funding, before it starts preparation for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The Gurugram-based startup has raised an additional 37.9 crore (about $5.1 million) in October from Pacific Horizon Investment Trust, which is managed by UK’s Baillie Gifford and Co. Ltd.

The ongoing round will see Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, Steadview Capital, hedge-fund Luxor Capital Partners, Lugard Road Capital and ASP India LP pump in the fresh capital over the coming weeks.

The article was first published on livemint.com.

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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.