Is this the end of Urbanspoon as we know it? Urbanspoon, the restaurant listing and review website, has just been sold for $60 million to the New Delhi-based company Zomato. Not only that, but Urbanspoon also announced that it will be phasing out its popular mobile app, and cutting 10 percent of employees. Zomato aims to shut down the mobile app by the end of March, and from there, according to Geek Wire, the company plans to dissolve the entire Urbanspoon brand (including web and mobile interfaces) by the end of the summer. At that time, users will instead be redirected to Zomato.com.
“The road ahead is a long one, and there are big challenges to overcome. For one, we’ll need to ensure that Urbanspoon’s website and app are integrated into Zomato smoothly over the next couple of months, without sacrificing the usability or utility of either,” Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal said in a statement. “Urbanspoon has built vast legions of faithful followers over the years, and we’ll need to work extra hard to ensure that the finished product is one that users and merchants alike will love and enjoy using.”
Zomato is already a restaurant search giant overseas, and has acquired similar companies in New Zealand, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Italy this year, according to the Globe and Mail. After the acquisition of Urbanspoon, Zomato will have millions of restaurant listingsunder its belt, effectively positioning it to compete with other restaurant search giants in America like Yelp, Zagat, and TripAdvisor.