Zomato shuts Urbanspoon for good, following the acquisition


On Monday late hours, following Zomato’s acquisition of UrbanSpoon in January, Zomato has declared its shutting down of the restaurant discovery platform. The acquisition was made for around $50 million and it has made UrbanSpoon’s traffic move to Zomato app.


In January, regarding the acquisition, ¬†Zomato’s COO and Co-founder Pankej Chaddah said, “We would have to keep two identities, two systems, two databases. It is better to work with one brand, and keep a global identity. We will migrate the product and keep the Zomato identity.” He also added, “For us, the most important thing that Urbanspoon brings is the user base. It also brings huge geographies and experience in those markets, and the Urbanspoon team will continue with us, though we will be adding to it. They have also been doing some product stuff we have not and we’ll marry what they do with our own stuff.”

Urbanspoon was nine years old at the time of shut down and was part of the early Web 2.0 startups that embraced and encouraged user submitted content. The website which had strong hold in United States, Canada, U.K, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, offered features like restaurant search, reviews and ratings for the restaurants.

For Zomato, with the acquisition of Urbanspoon, it is working on for the major expansion into the U.S and European markets, something which would have not been possible if Zomato has decided to survive on its own. Zomato has already figured out the changes that the Urbanspoon users would have to undergo for the transition to go smooth.

The data from Urbanspoon have been added in their listings with some changes on the star rating system from the like/dislike feature. Multiple review for the same restaurant have been merged into one based on the date of submission. However, it allows the review to be edited based on the recent experience. Wishlists and favorites from Urbanspoon have been traded in as bookmarks that can be found through the profile page. Old Urbanspoon users would have to sign in to the app to make us of the service which was not required previously. ¬†New features like ‘Timeline’ has been added to help the users keep track of all the place they eat.

However, one of the popular features of Urbanspoon ‘shake-to-search’, that lets its users to shake the phone to get the list of the restaurants nearby on the screen, will be missed on the Zomato app.

“Adding to all the existing locations on Urbanspoon, you can explore restaurants in 22 countries globally. There are over 1 million restaurants to choose from in 10,000+ cities, so the Zomato app is trusted companion to take with you on holiday,” said the company.

The whole process of acquisition has been done quite quickly or maybe holding the Urbanspoon brand longer proved to be expensive. No comments have been received regarding the quick closure. As for this date, visitors to the Urbanspoon website are redirected to Zomato. The app still works, but not all features may work and all accounts have been moved to Zomato. The data may not been changed, but the flashy startup just may not be the same for many old-time users of Urbanspoon.

The picture Zomato had shared in its blog to disclose the news can be found below: