EazyDiner, a restaurant booking and food review platform, is engaged in talks with current and potential investors to raise a fresh round of funding which will ensure its planned expansion towards the South East and the South Asian markets in the near future. The startup is two years old and was founded by Indian media personality Vir Sanghvi in association with six other professionals with backgrounds in the food, beverage and the hospitality sectors.
In a statement, EazyDiner stated that Indonesia and Thailand were on its horizon of expansion in the near future. A time span of 12 months has been set to establish a footprint in these countries. Aman Kapur, one of the co-founders of the firm was quoted here as saying,“We were never, and in fact, will never get into food delivery. The economics just don’t make sense, at least in a market like India. We believe it requires a very different skill-set. The focus is to go deeper into our existing markets and really establish our footprints in each of them rather than just go on an unrestrained growth across geographies.”
A burgeoning business
EazyDiner had launched its services in Dubai at the fag end of last year. Three services, that of popular dining guide Zagat which is owned by Google, the restaurant review firm Yelp and the restaurant booking service OpenTable owned by Priceline, are used to provide the best experience to users and consumers of the online table booking service. EazyDiner is also backed by two venture capital firms, DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital. While the online restaurant business is booming in India, the market scene is not too dreamy. Profit margins are thin, growth is often throttled by hiccups in the startup culture and bottlenecking in the supply chain in the country and consumers are known to change their minds too often. In order to survive, EazyDiner will look to stay competitive if it wants to survive. Funding interest in this segment has been dull over the last year as startups look to overcome hurdles in an industry, which while being in overdrive, is highly detrimental to the players involved.
EazyDiner is said to have raised about $4 million in funding till date. Gurpreet Kohli, former Chrys Capital MD, was one of its earliest backers. As of now, the startup operates in seven locations, the National Capital Region, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Kolkata, Pune and Chennai. The platform lists an estimated 2000 restaurants of which a fourth are in the NCR itself. The presence of Vir Sanghvi as the media-savvy face may boost EazyDiner’s prospects, however.