Alibaba-backed online restaurant discovery and food ordering service Zomato has acquired Bengaluru-based startup TongueStun, which aggregates caterers and restaurants to run cafeterias at corporate offices.
Zomato did not disclose the terms of the deal, but said that TongueStun was the largest of its kind player in the food-at-work space and that the company would continue to run independently.
The food ordering giant did add that it would integrate the startup’s offering within its own service to allow employees at large corporate offices to pick up meals from their own cafeterias. This would allow it to acquire an extremely high-frequency use case in the online meals segment.
“We see immense growth opportunity in the food@work space, and with the help of TongueStun we hope we’re able to delight our users at their workplaces as well. This market is very high frequency, and customers are very sticky as they end up placing more than 20 orders a month on the TongueStun platform,” said Deepinder Goyal, Founder & CEO, Zomato.
TongueStun is used by 1,500 companies, including large corporate customers such as Accenture, Mindtree, Genpact, EY and Deloitte. In the release, Zomato claimed that the platform handled 150,000 orders a day, and had over 1,000 service partners on its platform.
Apart from allowing corporates to discover caterers, TongueStun also allows administrators within companies
to manage the cafeterias, using technology to allow them to track meal consumption, queue management and employee feedback.
The acquisition, which is Zomato’s twelfth globally, will give it a foothold in the market for food ordered by working professionals. While the target group for online food ordering services often order food home, the logistics of delivering food into large corporate workspaces deters them from getting food at work.
The move also comes in the backdrop of Zomato raising $200 million from Ant Financial, an affiliate of China’s largest online retailer Alibaba. In July, when the company turned 10 years old, it announced to its employees that it would begin looking at several other business opportunities turning it into a farm to mouth food company.
This would include services such as sourcing raw vegetables directly from farmers and selling them to restaurants it is affiliated with. The company could even look at selling raw ingredients directly to customers in the future, catering to not just the restaurant cooked food market that is growing quickly in the country.