Do you love your food? Do you post great looking meals on Facebook and Instagram on a regular basis? If you do, a mobile app developer from India has developed an app that you are going to love.
The app and its parent company are called Zomato. Zomato is a new app, but their developer is no stranger to the food industry. Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal, who serves as Zomato’s CEO, bought Urbanspoon last year for $60 million. After a four year “investment phase,” Goyal projects earnings of up to $75 million per year.
Goyal sees Zomato’s “point of difference” as the ability to help users share personalised dining experiences. Kate Parker, who is responsible for Zomato’s operation and entry into the Australian market, has been provided with an initial $10 million budget to promote and advance Zomato’s position in Australia.
Ms Parker is focused on creating a user base providing them with what she calls “the best possible user experience.” She believes that Zomato can be used to help restaurants “grow their businesses.”
One of Zomato’s core strategies will be integrating the app with social media. According to Ms Parker, “People listen to people they know and trust.” She feels that she can use Zomato to help “foodies” be part of a community.
Zomato’s revenue will be produced what Ms Parker calls “hyperlocal advertising.” This means restaurant owners will use the app to attract diners in their local area, whether residents or tourists, to their restaurants. She intends to use the viral nature of Urbanspoon as a model, with users providing content.
Zomato will curate that content constantly updating all information on menus, location, prices and contact details.
The Zomato business model is already successful; there are more than 62 million users registered globally. Many of these users were “migrated” from Urbanspoon. The company plans to enhance revenue through customised marketing and advertising, similar to Facebook. Zomato will also have the capability of virtual wallet payments, which are already available to users in Melbourne.
Competition will come in the form of Dimmi, a restaurant booking app that TripAdvisor recently purchased for $25 million. The Australian Food Guide and Yelp will also provide competition.
Ms Parker says Zomato is in the process of expanding a tab called “collections,” in which restaurants are grouped under banners with names such as “trending this week,” “kick-ass burgers” and “sweet tooth.”
Ms Parker is also working closely with food bloggers, educating them about the platform and soliciting feedback on how to improve the product. So far, Zomato has hired 190 Australians for sales and business development jobs.
What You Can Learn from Zomato
If you are a small mobile app developer or someone who hasn’t yet developed your first app, you may be wondering, “What can this do for me? I don’t have $60 million.” The answer: there is always something to learn from a successful app or business venture.
We think the main takeaway from Zomato is that they were able to spot a trend and capitalise on it. We know they took a risk. If people suddenly want to stop posting pictures of their food on social media, they could be in serious trouble. But the foundation beneath their plan is solid and the mechanics can be scaled down for a small mobile app developer.
Here is what they did, scaled down so that it doesn’t require $60 million.
Find a Popular Trend, Solve a Problem or Provide an Enhancement
Think of some popular trends in a niche you want to work with. For example, Zomato decided to take advantage of the trend for posting pictures of food online. Thanks to their deep pockets, they were able to buy Urbanspoon and “migrate” their users, thus having a ready-made clientele. You may not be able to do that, but you have other options.
Zomato found their trend and their niche on social media websites like Facebook and Instagram. Can you think of any trends on either that you may be able to help with a problem or provide an enhancement for?
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