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Indian food delivery giant Zomato eyes US$1.3 billion IPO

Indian food delivery company Zomato's initial public offering (IPO) is priced at 72 to 76 rupees per share, giving it a valuation of as much as US$7.98 billion, the company said on Thursday, as it cashes in on a pandemic-led surge in online ordering.

Indian food delivery giant Zomato eyes US$1.3 billion IPO

FILE PHOTO: A delivery worker of Zomato, an Indian food-delivery startup, waits to collect an order from a restaurant in New Delhi, India, May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

MUMBAI: Indian food delivery giant Zomato announced plans Thursday (Jul 8) to raise 93.75 billion rupees (US$1.3 billion) via an initial public offering, the latest firm to take advantage of a strong rally in local equities.

Zomato and rival Swiggy - both of whose delivery riders are ubiquitous in Indian cities - are the two biggest players in a food delivery market forecast to explode in the coming years.

But Zomato co-founder Gaurav Gupta said the Indian market was still "highly under-penetrated" with only 8-9 per cent of food consumption from restaurants, compared with 40-50 per cent in markets such as China and the United States.

"We are disrupting the Indian habit of home-cooked food and we are very excited about the opportunity ahead of us to drive this kind of behaviour," Gupta told reporters.

Both Zomato and Swiggy are, however, yet to be profitable because of high start-up and marketing costs. In the last financial year, Zomato lost 8.16 billion rupees on revenues of nearly 20 billion rupees.

Delivery firms also face a backlash from Indian restaurants, which complain that the platforms' deep discounts erode their profit margins.

Zomato has a presence in 525 Indian cities, with more than 32 million Indians visiting its platform every month. It is also active in 23 other countries.

The company will issue new shares - priced at between 72 to 76 rupees - in the issue that opens on Jul 14 and closes on Jul 16.

Ant Financial, controlled by Chinese investor Jack Ma, owns a minority stake in the firm.

Around 30 Indian companies have announced IPO plans this year, including digital payments firm PayTM, backed by Japan's SoftBank as well as by Ma.

Source: AFP

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