Indian-based restaurant discovery brand Zomato continues its frenetic start to 2015 - buying a site in Turkey and redesigning its logo as part of its plan to absorb recently acquired Urbanspoon.
The deal to buy Mekanist in Turkey is the latest in a string of deals aimed at giving Zomato a truly global footprint. The deal will bring its coverage in Turkey to around 50,000 restaurants.
A few weeks ago Zomato made its biggest purchase to date, buying restaurant review site Urbanspoon. Reports put the price paid at between $50 -$60 million. The deal opened up the US and Australia to Zomato and strengthened its existing business in Canada.
At the time, Zomato talked about "the fight we’re going to be picking with Yelp...in the market they have dominated for so long."
(Zomato is currently trialling cashless payments through its app in Dubai. This is a potential new revenue stream for the business as it would take a commission on the payments).
The blog post announcing the logo change said:
"Urbanspoon is one of the most recognized consumer internet brands in the United States, Canada, and Australia. By the time we merge the Urbanspoon website and apps into Zomato by March this year, two-thirds of our overall traffic will be coming from just these three countries. It’s important to us that we don’t lose a lot of Urbanspoon users by giving them a new name, a new logo, and a new product."
The idea is that replacing the Zomato heart with Urbanspoon's spoon will resonate with Urbanspoon users when the merger happens. Similarly, Urbanspoon users are getting used to Zomato via change to the colour palette used on the Urbanspoon homepage and the tagline "urbanspoon by zomato".
The net result of the logo news is that Zomato appears to have confirmed that it is dropping the Urbanspoon brand. If this is the case then it is a brave and confident move by Zomato and another sign that restaurants could be the travel vertical to watch in 2015.